They came, they saw, they
conquered were wonderful guests!
Yesterday went off without a hitch; all of the guests found our house and the timing was almost perfect, with only a little overlap. We had the place in pretty good shape and the weather was very cooperative, too. Mom came down in the morning and deadheaded some daylilies for me while I ran around pulling sneaky weeds and cleaned the house and did a little baking.
It sure is something how time gets away from you, isn't it? I put a pan of brownies in the oven and set the timer for 30 minutes. Then I noticed the pan fountain was running a little low on water, so I went out to find a hose and hooked it up and started filling the basin, but just as a watched pot never boils, the fountain wasn't filling fast enough. I saw some weeds by the fountain, so I went off in search of a weed pail. Then I got involved with weeding by the barn (where I had put the weed pails---it's that GADS tendency of mine, rearing it's ugly head again) when I remembered the fountain (which was by now running over) so I ran to turn off the water and stash the hose out of the way when I remembered, Brownies! and made a mad dash to the house and saw with a sinking heart the timer on the microwave flashing 'End End End'. But I took heart in the fact the smoke alarm wasn't screaming at me, and all was well. The brownies were a little crunchy, but still edible. (I can attest to their edibleness, sadly.)
|All pictures today are Random......I had a dead camera battery and these were all taken last night after the company left. Oooops.|
Carl surprised me ever so much by coming home from work at noon. I heard his loud car a quarter mile away (a 1989 Oldsmobile whose muffler fell off a year ago--he's got a new muffler in the backseat that he bought eleven months ago but hasn't had the time or inclination to put on yet) I was so very glad he was home. He said he went to work early, and early, for Carl is indeed very early, since he normally gets up at 5AM to be to work at 6AM. "I knew you needed help and I wanted to be here, too, so I started work at 5 and took a half-day vacation." Sad that his 'vacation' consists of running around in circles with weed pails, but we're in this together and I love him for his devotion to the home team. He'll get around to fixing the muffler one of these days, it's not as loud as most of the motorcycles that roar past here, or even some of the fancy trucks that drive by, either. As long as you keep your foot out of the carburetor, it's quiet. Sort of.
I've lived here all my life and was never really sure where the line is that separates Up North from the rest of The Skeeter State, so I just did an internet search and found a site called Up North Wisconsin, so now I know. Turns out we don't live all that far from Up North, it starts just a county away. I guess we live in Not Up North. But anyway, back to the story:
The Up North people were very pleasant, one lady had been here before and brought along her husband and another couple. We had a very nice time walking through and chatting with them. While we were out in the gardens, Joel came home from work and then David, and our friend Briana was here visiting for the afternoon, too, so we had a lot of cars in and out. We were just coming out of the Formal Garden and headed for the Quarry when Toni from Texas arrived with her mother and two of her sisters. Toni is the only one of her family to live in Texas, the rest live in Wisconsin, but quite a distance from us. Toni's blog is fantastic and if we ever get to Texas someday, we want to visit her gorgeous garden. Here's a link: Signature Gardens
The lady I was walking with said, "Now, who's that?" and I explained about how Toni and I 'met' through the Land of Garden Blogs and how Toni had just toured Larry and Sarah's wonderful garden this morning. Here's the link to Larry's garden which is about an hour drive from us: http://conradartglassgardens.blogspot.com/
"Is it always like this around here?" my garden visitor asked. "It looks like you have people here all the time!?"
No, not all the time, but she's right, for the past two weeks things have been jumping around here more than 'normal' (whatever normal is for us, lol).
Carl finished the tour with our first guests and I went to greet Toni and her family. Oh, my, such friendly and beautiful ladies they were! And once again I was struck by the realization that though we had never met in person, it felt like greeting old friends. The blogging community is truly close-knit, even though we are separated by great distances. I have to admit that most times I know more about what's going on with my blog friends than I do with my neighbors. I wish I could have taken pictures of their visit, but the battery on my camera had died and didn't recharge until after everyone was gone. Oh, well.
We had a great time strolling along and looking at plants and rocks. When Tufa Girl (Cindy and Shawn) were here last week, Cindy was saying how amazing it was that so many of the plants they grow in Texas are also growing up here in Wisconsin, and Toni said the same thing. Hard to believe, really....it's 104+ degrees in Texas and the same plants survive in -20+ here in Wisconsin. And the same goes for the rocks. They have rocks in Texas, too. Oh, it's a Small World!
Coneflowers, for example, thrive in both climates. This is 'Virgin' echinacea.
|And sedum thrives in Texas heat, too.|
We had a very nice visit; my only complaint was it was too short, but Toni's entourage was off to the Green Bay Botanical Garden, and I didn't want to keep them from seeing that beautiful sight! Toni and her mom and sisters were wonderful guests and I hope someday I will meet them again.
Our third group of friends were so much fun to visit with, too....and there was an added bonus, they took some plants out of the Formal Garden for me! I was really happy about that, glad anyone who wants them is taking them because we need them outta there so we can finish the wall. Ann wants some for her new place, too, so things are looking up. We might actually finish a project before the end of the year.
|More random photos...the sedum is certainly loving this weather, it's crawling all over everything.|
Too bad it's over already. I was a bit sad.
|The garden juniper is also having a fun time growing all over the rocks. Looks like a lava flow almost.|
|'Double Click' Cosmos|
But the sedums are starting to turn just the slightest bit pink, and that's a warning....this summer weather isn't going to be here forever.
That's the biggest problem with gardening in Wisconsin. We wait a very long time for the warmer weather and put our gardens in with high hopes because at best, we only have a few months of glorious color before it's back to the snow. With all of the guests we've had again this year, most of them remarked on the annuals. They're pretty, but why? Why do I plant them when they won't be back next year?
Because I'm nuts. And because without them, I wouldn't have color right up until frost. And because they go with rocks so well. And because they make me look thinner. (Ok, no, they don't, but what the heck, just checking to see if you're listening.)
So, like I said, I was coming on home with the doggies and felt a bit sad but also more optimistic, it's cooling down and we can get to work on the stone cottage-y thing after we finish the formal garden wall. We don't have to keep the place pristine any more. Visitors are always the best incentive to get things done. You'd be surprised how much the threat of people coming to see the gardens has given us the second and third winds we've needed to work a bit harder. So, ok, time to get out the tractors and mortar mixer and the knee pads. Back to work.....we have a few months before the snow flies.
When I got back in the house, there were two new messages on the answering machine:
"I'm Felicia from Up North and we were wondering if we could come and see your gardens on Monday............."
"Hello, my name is Cynthia, and we were wondering if we could bring our friends out to see your gardens September 13th..........."
And, I almost forgot, we have a Very Special Bride (our neighbor) coming for her wedding photos on October 1.
Every path leads to my door. Well, at least to my rock pile. And I hope Jack Frost doesn't find the path to my garden until at least the middle of October.
Build it and they will come.
It ain't over til the Fat Lady sings. (And nobody wants to hear me sing.)
Now, where are my knee pads?
And don't forget to check out what's going on over at Tootsie's! I'm linking up to Fertilizer Friday
Hope you all have a great weekend!