Behind the magic of the Secret Garden Tour
by Kendra Hartmann
May 24, 2013 | 993 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print

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Though La Jolla’s Secret Garden Tour has been a favorite of the community for 15 years, what many visitors to the tour, hosted by the La Jolla Historical Society, don’t see is the behind-the-scenes action that takes place prior to the big event.

Each year, a committee is tasked with choosing the designers to take part in the tour. Designers are kept in the dark until a couple months before the tour, at which point they are informed which garden they will be assigned to decorate. They then have about two and a half days to complete their designs.

This year, a team from Vignettes in Ocean Beach was given the French Garden, for which they transformed a potting shed and garden into a francophile’s dream hideaway, with crystal chandeliers, French fabrics, lace and handmade paper illustrations. Plants, flowers, vintage pots and moss rounded out the shabby chic look, created by Barbara Gray of Cottage White, along with Vignettes’ Karen Lampard, Robin McKeirnan and Lori Chandelier.

“Our team meets and tosses ideas back and forth then we come to the house with our cars loaded with items we think will work together,” wrote Gray in an email. “I personally have sleepless nights visualizing the whole project.

“It’s interesting the way it comes together — a lot of putting in, taking out, trying different props over and over again. We really look at the property, study it and see just how we can enhance it ... It did help to have wonderful homeowners that allowed us the freedom to take their beautiful property to the next level.”
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