Hilltop Arboretum’s fall garden tour usually offers plants for sale at one of the gardens on the tour.
“This year, we want people to come to Hilltop,” said Peggy Davis, Hilltop’s executive director.
The plant sale is at the arboretum, 11855 Highland Road. Gardens on Sunday’s tour are in nearby Oak Hills and University Acres.
The gardens feature outdoor entertaining spaces. “They’ll be dressed up with ideas you can use in your own garden,” said Davis.
“Passalong Recipes from the Podge,” a collection of recipes, quotes, garden tips and stories passed along by friends and fans of the arboretum’s Hodge Podge Nursery volunteers, will be on sale at Hilltop during the tour.
Visitors may sample some of the volunteers’ cooking the day of the sale.
Gardens on tour:
Lisa and Tom Adamek
6113 Chandler Drive
The Adameks’ garden is a collaborative effort of 10 years with landscape architect Eduardo Jenkins.
The house sits on the ridge of the Bayou Duplantier floodway with a slope down to a bottomland hardwood forest and swamp.
Elements of the terraced garden were added gradually over time. The screened porch, patio area and beds immediately behind the living area of the house were completed first. The pool and related beds were added a few years later. The large portion of the yard behind the pool, which accounts for nearly half of the one-acre lot, was overgrown until 2005 when it was cleared, graded, sodded and planted.
The outdoor kitchen is the most recent addition to the landscape, built in 2009. Each phase in the development of the landscape was done with family in mind. The Adameks reared six children and hope grandchildren will enjoy the landscaping one day.
Paula and Bob Dillemuth
5848 Guava Drive
This mature yard and garden was developed over two generations. It was Bob Dillemuth’s childhood home and almost all of the plantings were put in by Dillemuth or his parents, Chuck and Ruth Dillemuth.
This isn’t the typical suburban landscape, but a natural, parklike setting.
A mixture of deciduous and evergreen trees and shrubs that change with the seasons greet the visitor.
Screened from the surrounding neighborhood by mature shrubs and trees, the family’s front yard was the venue for the wedding of son Forrest and Amber Lodrigues a week before the tour.
The garden has been influenced by many years of Hilltop garden programs and plant sales and has grown into an extensive collection of native and exotic plants. Primarily a shade garden, plants include a camellia collection started by Chuck Dillemuth.
Trees and shrubs are under-planted with ferns, bulbs and ground covers that change with the seasons. Visitors are encouraged to walk the pathways and explore the back corners and garden rooms. Composting enthusiasts should check out the Dillemuth’s series of composting stations.
Ruth and Charbel Harb
An 11- by 16-foot pond with two waterfalls and streams is part of the backyard retreat of the owners of Harb’s Oasis Garden Center. Surrounded by a deck, a flagstone path, a wooden bridge, and a swing in the shade, the landscaped pond area, covered patio and carport provide outdoor spaces for entertainment, as well.
Blooming plants, colorful foliage and trees are home to birds, butterflies and dragonflies.
The landscape design in the front yard features a trial garden border with an ever-changing palette of plant varieties with an emphasis on repeat bloomers and tropical plants.
DeEtte and Mike Montalbano
677 Oak Hills Parkway
Their backyard is described by friends as “Mike and DeEtte on Golden Pond.” The Montalbanos say sunsets over the lake in Oak Hills match any sunsets they have seen on their travels.
Yard and garden are a playground for the couple’s two granddaughters where they can enjoy a playhouse and the lake’s wildlife.
An outdoor kitchen includes two charcoal grills, an infrared grill and a burner for gumbos and jambalayas.
Judy and Steve Jones
441 Arbor Court
The Joneses’ garden’s cozy courtyard, fireplace in the front yard and outdoor kitchen and pool in the back are an invitation to spend time outside.
More than 80 plants provide continuous color, flowers and fruit in planting beds and containers.
Plants that include ones to attract butterflies and hummingbirds define the garden’s outdoor rooms. The couple’s favorite plants include tibouchina, cuphea, torenia, melampodium, queen palms and olive trees.
This spring they found three bird nests in the courtyard which were homes to a dove, house wren and cardinal. In late July, they discovered the dove returned to her nest for the summer.
Rita and Jerry Satawa
1140 Oak Hills Parkway
When their children, nieces, nephews and the neighborhood children grew up and left home, Rita and Jerry Satawa realized their style of entertaining had changed.
Singlehandedly, they jack hammered and hauled away the backyard swimming pool and consulted with David Seba, their landscape architect, to design a pond and garden of varying year-round colors and textures with emphasis on views from inside the house.
Although they have not yet built an outdoor kitchen, they extended their 30-foot-high peaked roof to create a large, protected patio for barbecues and seafood boils.