Spring home tours feature legendary architects, exquisite gardens

Spring cleaning takes on a special significance for homeowners and gardeners whose residences are featured in this season’s lineup of home tours.

Everything from elaborate gardens to high-end interior design is showcased during the events throughout this month and May.

Atlanta Botanical Gardens’ Gardens for Connoisseurs Tour, May 12-13

The Atlanta Botanical Gardens’ annual Gardens for Connoisseurs Tour (atlantabg.org) will feature a collection of 10 private gardens on Mother’s Day weekend.

The 24-mile, self-guided tour will feature properties, including an urban oasis and a garden inspired by north Georgia.

“With the varied size and scope of gardens on the tour, there will be inspiration that everyone can take away to create their own private garden oasis,” said Alec Michaelides, a principal with Land Plus Landscaping.

He remodeled a garden in Buckhead into a series of spaces, including a formal limestone terrace, a perennial garden with a rose arbor, and a sunken pool and pavilion. Michaelides created a formal boxwood garden in the arrival court, which the homeowners wanted for guest parking. One of his favorite features is the tiered boxwood garden that leads to the rose arbor.

“It becomes more of a separate garden in itself, and I like being up there looking back at the house and the whole rear of the property,” he said. “I just love the vantage point from up there.”

The trails in a garden in Druid Hills are inspired by the north Georgia mountain terrain, and the garden “celebrates water” with a waterfall and reflecting pool, said designer Eric King of King Landscaping.

“It’s more about working with what nature gives you and celebrating the beautiful beech trees, and adding more plants like it that would grow in a forest,” he said, adding that he used more than 300 ferns.

Druid Hills Tour of Homes & Gardens, April 20-22

The Druid Hills Tour of Homes & Gardens (druidhillstour.org) is celebrating its 50th anniversary by featuring a collection of 12 private gardens and historic homes, including residences by Atlanta architects Leila Ross Wilburn and Neel Reid.

Reid’s original Druid Hills home will be featured on the tour, along with another home he designed on Springdale Road that was constructed in 1919 and expanded about four years ago. Another building, the old Scottish Rite Hospital in Decatur designed by Reid, inspired a family room addition by architect Karen Soorikian in 2014.

“He designs beautiful houses, he really does,” said homeowner Kirsten Jacobson. “We didn’t want to mess with what he did.”

Southeastern Designer Showhouse & Gardens, April 19-May 13

The third annual Southeastern Designer Showhouse & Gardens (southeasternshowhouse.com) is a new Buckhead residence by Atlanta’s Harrison Design and Sheehan Built Homes. The rooms are decorated by 15 interior designers, and the gardens are created by four landscape architecture firms.

The English country-style residence at 2805 Normandy Drive NW spans about 9,800 square feet with seven bedrooms and six baths.

Ryan Hughes of R. Hughes, an Atlanta-based showroom, said their “luxe study” is designed around a palette of golds, pinks and whites with a “glowing moon” light fixture and photography by Mona Kuhn.

Madison in May Spring Tour of Homes, May 4-5

The Madison in May Spring Tour of Homes (Madisoninmay.com) will feature eight homes in the historic town, located about an hour east of Atlanta, that span more than 175 years. Styles range from historic to modern as the homes were built from 1832 to 2013.

Dan Belman owns Camp Boxwood, a one-story home built in 1979 that was transformed into a three-story Victorian farmhouse in 2003. Belman said he and his partner Randy Korando of Boxwoods Gardens & Gifts in Buckhead hope that visitors can see that people can remake a “transform a home with good design and good material.”

“It was an amazing transformation,” Belman said.