Thursday, September 8, 2011

Wanna Tour?

We've had a busy week here at the ol' Quarry.  There's been a lot of visitors over the last four days, some scheduled and some unscheduled, but all of them were wonderful guests.

Yesterday I was out mixing fertilizer and filling my 50-gallon drum with water for the container plants in front of the garage when a little car slowed down on the road and came to a stop.  I glanced up and heard a cheery voice call, "Lovely garden!"

I yelled back, "Thanks.  Did you want to take a tour?"

Melampodium 'Melanie', Rudbeckia 'Indian Summer' and 'Northwind' Panicum
I always ask and try to be careful with the invitations because Believe It Or Not, sometimes cars do pull in our driveway, but they're only looking for a place to turn around and don't want to be taken hostage on a forced garden walk.  That reminds me of something which happened to me a few years back:

My friend Ann had called to let me know that some friends of hers from work were coming out for a garden walk and she said they'd be to our house shortly.  She cautioned me that the group didn't have a lot of time because they were en route to another event, so I was forewarned to make this a quick walk.

About five minutes later, a car pulled in and four very nicely dressed ladies got out.  I came out of the house to greet them, introduced myself and said, "Well, I guess we should get started,"  and heading down the trail in front of the house, I bid them to follow me.   As I ushered them around the gardens they seemed a bit hesitant and quite bewildered, though they were very polite and followed me around dutifully.  As the tour progressed, they kept citing Bible passages and exclaiming how blessed I was to have such pretty flowers.

"This is just like Paradise will be," one of them said, "I am certain of it."

I jokingly remarked, "Well, I was hoping weeds wouldn't be so plentiful in Paradise; I was looking forward to just strolling around and taking it easy Up There."

That comment was met with stunned silence, and a few uneasy looks.  I thought, "Whoa, tough crowd," and headed back slowly to the driveway with them still in tow.

It was at that time another car pulled in with four more nicely dressed ladies.

The driver rolled down her window and said, "Hello!  We're friends of Ann's and we're here for a garden walk. Is it ok if I park here?"

Uh-oh....if these are Ann's friends, then who are these other ladies??

That was when I noticed my first group of four ladies were busily getting their pamphlets out, it turns out I had garden-jacked a group of religious ladies and had forcibly taken them on a tour when they weren't here to see a garden..... they were here to Save My Soul.   Oooops.

So now when people show up, I make sure they're not here for any other purpose first.  You'd hate to be my meter reader or my paper delivery person, wouldn't you?  Slow down in front of my house and you are going on a garden walk.  We don't take NO for an answer. 

(We had to rewrite the Handbook of Rules for Quarry Garden Tours lately, and did some editing.  Now we ask appropriate questions first.)

But anyway, the two older ladies who showed up yesterday morning were indeed here to see the garden, though I think one of them had me mixed up with someone else.

"I used to drive by here all the time and admire your wonderful vegetable garden out front," one of them said.  "You had such an amazing plot of tomatoes and sweet corn by the road.  And your pumpkins!  I see you're not growing it this year.  Did you move the vegetable garden somewhere else?" she asked.


Once again, things that make you go hmmmmmm.......Ah, well......I DO have a vegetable garden of sorts (if you count 15 tomato plants and two rows of onions)  out back by the windmill this year, and yes, we did move it, but we've never, ever had a vegetable garden out in front by the road, so I don't know who she was talking about, but it wasn't us.  I could tell she was a bit confused, so not wanting to confuse her even  more, I sorta went along with it and said yes, I'd moved my vegetable garden this year.  I just didn't want to upset her since she was so sure we were the house with the big Veggie Garden.  We had a good time looking at the rest of the non-vegetables anyway.

After my two impromptu visitors left, I went back to weeding and pulling out tired flowers.  This is a hard time of year, so many of you wonderful gardeners out there are planting fall plants and I should be, but I haven't got the heart to yank out the things that are still flowering.  Poor planning on my part, but there it is, I'll admit it.

The big, floppy plant in the foreground is Datura.  I've yet to see it bloom, but it has huge purple buds on it.

We had a garden group stop in on Tuesday night, remember the group that was going to have a little wine in the garden?  They were very cordial and seemed to enjoy themselves for an hour or so before leaving to go out to eat.   There was another group that stopped in on Wednesday night, too, and same story, very friendly people.

 The rudbeckias are still hanging on though I pulled out about two garden trailers full last weekend.  As you can tell by the leaves, there is some mildew on these too, but the flowers are still pretty.

 The nasturtiums and moss roses along with the melampodiums are doing their best to hang on with the much cooler weather, too.

Some of the hostas are really looking tough; if I could let the hens have free range of the gardens, many of the slugs would be history.   But this year we've had more walks than usual and I didn't want to take a chance on the Girls scratching out all the mulch and trouncing the annuals in the River Bed, so they've been cooped up until first frost hits.  After everything is dead, they can run where they please, but for now, we have to try to keep everything looking as good as possible, at least until October 1 and the wedding that is scheduled for photography.  It's been getting quite cold out at night, so still having any flowers by the first of October might be a pipe dream, but we'll see.

 The 'Victoria' annual salvia is finally starting to bloom.
We have to get the weed pails and the transit legs out of the Dome before any more wedding photos, too.

 So, tomorrow is Fertilizer Friday, and you know what else?  It's also our wedding anniversary.  As an anniversary present to each other, we bought another little wrought iron table and chair set from an antique store a few weeks ago.  It needs paint, but what it needs more than paint is a building with a roof overhead.  So we've been hard at work, trying to make this happen before another year is over.  I don't think we'll finish before winter, but we'll give it a try.  Poor Carl took two days off of work this week to celebrate and what do I tell him I want to do?

Happy 33rd Anniversary, Carl!  Sorry my idea of celebrating is whacking rocks with a hammer, but we gotta get this silly project done.

It's no reflection on my feelings for you.

I'm looking forward to another 33 years (and more, if we're lucky) of fun in the sun with Carl and the rocks around here.

And if you wander down our backroad sometime and I spot you driving along slowly, just floor it when you get even with my driveway.  I can't run as fast as I used to, so you should be safe from a Garden-Jacking. 


El Gaucho said...

Fantastic story about the God-fearing ladies you ensnared for a garden tour. That really made me laugh. You think you live in a nice neighborhood where the happy proselytizers of the world can go about their business spreading the good word without being Shanghaied by some crazy gardener on forced march through their flowers.

Larry said...

happy anniversary! Larry

Sue said...

Well, first off---Happy Anniversary. You must be doing all right, Karen, if he's kept at the job for this long! Maybe he likes whacking rocks too!

And secondly-LOVED the story about the four religious ladies. Hey, they got a nice tour out of it.
Did you take the pamphlets?

HolleyGarden said...

haha - cute story. Your garden is like Paradise. They must have never pulled weeds or they would have agreed that there would be no weeds in Heaven! Heaven forbid! ;) Happy anniversary to you both! What a wonderful present. I hope you will actually get to sit around your beautiful table and enjoy the garden. You do sit sometimes, don't you????!!

FlowerLady said...

Oh dear Karen & Carl ~ Happy 33rd Anniversary.

I just can't get over all the work you do there in your gardens and that you have so many 'tours' planned and impromptu. I couldn't handle that, so you two are special.

I see no weeds in your lovely gardens at all.

Enjoy the cooler nighttime temps.

Love and hugs ~ FlowerLady

Anonymous said...

Your story of corralling the religious ladies was hilarious. We get them all the time here and I am going to have to remember that. They want to take up my time I am going to take up some of theirs. I know you didn't realize they were out spreading the word, but it is still funny you 'made' them see the garden. I bet they really enjoyed it to, except for the weeding of Paradise remark.

Tufa Girl said...

Your postings of memories are the best. Those ladies were awfully good sports. Happy Anniversary to you and Carl.

Tufa Girl said...

Shawn had a great chuckle and wishes you a Happy Anniversary.

Sall's Country Life said...

Happy Anniversary you two! I do hope you enjoy yourselves whatever you choose to do! 33 years of building a great marriage and a beautiful garden together...truly a blessing!! You have my deepest admiration and best wishes!!

Beth said...

Happy anniversary! Enjoyed your garden walk story and your gardens still look stunning, Karen.

Karen said...

El Gaucho, yes, coming to visit my neighborhood is a very treacherous place. Should be a sign, 'Beware the Tour Guide'.'

Larry, thank you!

Sue, yes, I did take the pamphlets, I figured it was the least I could do, lol.

HolleyGarden, oh, yes, I sit way TOO much!

FlowerLady, thank you, too, and yes, we are really enjoying the cooler temps!

Karen said...

Donna, yes, they do come around here all the time, too, so I should have known better. At least they didn't get mad because I took them on a tour.

Cindy & Shawn, thank you!

Lisa, thank you, and yes, we'll do our best to enjoy rocking on this weekend, I'm actually kinda excited about it, we need to finish this thing.

Hi Beth, thank you. No frost yet!

Anonymous said...

Happy Anniversary congratulations on 33 wonderful years together. Another wonderful entertaining blog the though of you marching the religious ladies around the garden on a whistle stop tour made me laugh. Thanks for another enjoyable visit Karen.
I am looking forward to our 33rd on the 26th!
Have a lovely day
Sueb x

Randy Emmitt said...

Karen and Carl,
Happy 33rd anniversary! So when is Carl taking the level out of the dome? That was a funny story about the church ladies.

Shame you can't join us for a night garden tour tonight. We have 9, yes 9 night blooming cerius ready to open tonight! Never had more than two at once before. The aroma should be awesome!! Bet I'll smell it from this seat right here.

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Happy Anniversary! Don't spend all of your weekend moving rocks and gardening. Your rudbeckia looks wonderful, just love the way it looks this time of year.

I wish you were closer so I could go on a tour.


Darla said...

Never a dull moment in your gardens! Happy Anniversary and lovely new table. You know, you can feel real close to God in the gardens.....after all, Life began in a Garden!

Lana from Farm Life Lessons said...

Hysterical!! I guess those ladies didn't know that they really should have scheduled an appointment! At our house, here in the Greater Houston area, we have daily solicitors come to our house and it is highly irritating. It'll be nice to get moved to our wooded land and be tucked away in the forest, away from door to door salesmen with their clipboards and fast talking. Augh!

Rosemary said...

Oh the smile you brought to me....... chuckling about the religious ladies higardened.. turnabout is fair play since they think nothing of knocking on doors... lucky they were to see the garden.. I find it so annoying to be preached to on someone's religian I have my own thank you very much....I don't push it on them but now I know how to handle it they will get a tour of my tiny garden. .
Happy Anniversary to you both. Hoping you take a break and do something fun.

Peonies & Magnolias said...

Love reading your stores and the religious ladies was one of the best. Happy Anniversary and I hope y'all have a great weekend.


Lona said...

LOL! I love your stories. Happy Anniversary! Did you happen to get Carl a new hammer for it? LOL!

Judy said...

I look forward to reading your posts, they always make my day - this one was hilarious! Happy Anniversary.

Karen said...

Hi SueB, congratulations on your upcoming day, too! Where did the time go?

Hi Randy, thanks and the transit is out of the dome now. The night-blooming cerius sounds wonderful, too bad we can't make our blogs scratch-n-sniff-able.

Eileen, we'll try to fit in a something else besides rocks this weekend somewhere. I wish you lived closer too, I could come and tour YOUR fantastic garden!

Darla, you're right, time did start in a garden.

Tootsie said...

oh what I wouldn't give to have that tour!!! and good luck getting me away from there when I am in!!! lol
since the summer is winding down here in Alberta, it will be nice to be able to see all the flaunts both past and present from all those who get to garden year round. I made FF open to photos from past gardens for those who are in climates that stink on ice like mine! lol
Thank you so much for linking in this week...and for flaunting with me. I look forward to many more flaunts from you! I shared your post on tootsie's facebook page
Friday's Flaunts are a privelage for me to host. I love getting to be inspired by some of the most wonderful gardeners I have ever had the privelage of "knowing"
¸.•´¸.•*¨) ¸.•*¨)
(¸.•´ (¸.•´ .•´ ¸¸.•¨¯`•.

Karen said...

Lana, it will be very nice for you to escape from the hassles of door to door salesmen, can't wait until you're out in the Country!

There you go, Rosemary, give 'em a tour! Glad you enjoyed my adventures with Religious Ladies.

Hi Sandy, thank you!

Hey, Lona, why didn't I think of that? A new hammer would have been perfect.

Thank you, Judy, I'm glad somebody reads my silly stories.

Hello Glenda, Anytime you're in the area, feel free to stop in! We'd have a great time! I'm glad we can post pictures of flowers past because like you, not much will be happening here for a few long months. Thank you for hosting!

Alison said...

Oh, Karen, what a funny story about the ladies who got garden-jacked! I laughed and laughed. I would actually love to be your meter-reader, but I'm sure my bosses wouldn't, and I wouldn't last long in the job, because I would probably never make it to anyone else's house.

Happy Anniversary! We just got back from our 30th Anniversary Alaska cruise.

Karen said...

Alison, Oh, that's right, I knew you were going on a cruise, can't wait to hear all about it!

Anonymous said...

Oh, that was funny. Happy anniversary. You can garden-jack me anytime!

Pam's English Garden said...

Dear Karen, I would love to be garden-jacked by you! Happy Anniversary to you and your husband. The table is lovely. P. x

Patrick's Garden said...

How obliging of you to open up your garden for viewing Is it a strategy to promote the wedding biz or do you just enjoy it so much. I hope the latter but everyone has to make a living. Nice temple dome.

Karen said...

Rosie, thank you, and rest assured, if you ever stop in, you'll be going on a tour!

Pam, thank you, too, and you're welcome anytime, too!

Patrick, no business going on here except for two people who don't know when to quit gardening. Weddings are also subject to garden-jacking, if the limo drives by, we flag 'em down and herd 'em in.

christian marriage counseling said...

It looks like summer is moving into your area bringing the summer residents with it. Our goldfinches are wearing their bright yellow and black summer attire again.