Friday, January 17, 2014

A Paragraph and More

 I finally did come up with a paragraph for the garden walks.  I read your suggestions from my last post and added some stuff about the quarry pond and tried to make it a little less bleak.  I mean, we do want people to come and see it, after all.  I'd hate to think we weeded for nothing.  

Speaking of weeding for nothing, sometimes garden walks can be Very Unpredictable.  Take last year, for instance. As you may recall, last August we had two garden walks scheduled for the same day.   Joel thought as long as we were whipping the garden into shape for the walks, we might as well have a booyah party, too.  Good idea, actually, when you go through all that work you might as well make it worth your while, right?

 The first tour group wannabes had emailed me extensively about directions, how many people our garden could accomodate, how long the tour would take, how much walking was involved, available space for parking, etc. The organizer of the group wanted precise time frames and I gave them as best I could.  She said they had many members who were anxious to come but she needed as much information as possible.  They planned to arrive at 1PM. 

The second group of Master Gardeners were from Wood County, two hours away, and they were coming on a bus.  Their agenda was to arrive about the same time as the first group, but a last minute change of plans staggered their arrival by two hours which was perfect, arrival time: 3PM

So, while Joel and his friend, Paul, were cooking the booyah for our party which we told friends and family would be ready after 4PM, we had gone to the Hamburger Parade in our little town  in the morning, dashed home by noon and were ready and waiting for the first tour group to arrive by 1PM. 

I had gotten a reminder email and phone call from the lady from the early group two days prior, she wanted to make certain we were still on and that there would be room to park all the cars.   I assured her all systems were go. 

 Of course, the days before were spent weeding and making the place as presentable as possible.  (No wonder we don't get Aaargh done, too much time spent primping.)  I'd had to clean the house too, since we had people coming over for booyah and the lamps would be on display, so this was an all-out blow-out extraordinaire.  We were on our game that day; showered, hair combed, shoes on and ready for action.  

At 1 PM we were at our stations in the driveway, waiting for the car loads of people to arrive.  

At 1:05 PM, a car drove by slowly and we waved, but they looked puzzled and kept going.  Ok, they're not garden walkers.  (We've been guilty of dragging people in off the road before; it's a character defect of ours we're working on.) 

 At 1:06PM, a car pulled in, ok, here we go, I hope we have enough room to park them all...

Two ladies got out of the car and came to shake our hands.  

"Hello, I'm Elsie, we've spoken on the phone," Elsie said.  "And this is my friend and fellow club member, Shirley."

"Glad to meet you," we said in our Garden Host Voices.  

We stood in the driveway as the two ladies took note of the iron grates and the flower bed around the mailbox.  They asked about the varieties of annuals I had planted and we had a nice chat.  By now it was 1:15 and no more cars were arriving, so I asked if maybe the rest of the party had gotten lost.

"Oh no, they're not lost.  Due to the storms we had earlier in the week, some of the club members wanted to work in their own gardens and the others decided not to come today.  I hope it's ok that it is just the two of us."

"Oh, sure.......that's ok," I stammered. 

I glanced at Carl and it was all we could do to not bust out laughing.  This was the group that was worried about where to park all their cars and how long the tour would take?  All the work we went through for only two people? Not that the two people weren't important in their own right, don't get me wrong, but Carl had taken the week before off as vacation to help me get the gardens ready and we had pulled out all the stops.   We were expecting at least a dozen or more carloads of people, so this was really a surprise.  Pride goeth before the fall and all that.

So we sallied forth on the tour which was pleasant because when you have fewer people you can answer all their questions and there's no rush.  Joel looked at me quizzically when we walked past the booyah cooker with the two ladies  in tow and I simply shrugged and smiled.   

We didn't feel as let down as we could have since we still had another tour group arriving in an hour, so all the hard work was worth it, that is, unless they decided to cancel at the last minute.  Luckily, they didn't and arrived promptly at 3PM.  
The bus trip group had a lot of friendly folks on board and we really enjoyed their company.  And of course, we had a lot of family and friends coming for the booyah party, too, so it all worked out in the end.  
Wedding parties often arrive in stretch limos

The biggest tours we've ever had over a two day period were around eight hundred people in 2006 and the smallest planned tour was 2013 with two.    

We'll see what June/July 2014 brings.  There's no number estimates on attendance for the Midwest Regional Hosta Convention yet. The second tour is benefiting our county's homeless shelter, so I sure hope ticket sales are brisk for the charity since it is a very worthy cause.

Hopefully my Paragraph won't scare them off.  




My Garden Diaries said...

That is just crazy!! Crazy I think because they should have called to let you know that part of the group wasn't coming! You guys handled it like champs! And I can only imagine how exhausting the preparations were! I do hope you all have a great tour this year! 800 people is a lot of gardeners!!! A happy weekend to you!!!! Nicole

Pamela Gordon said...

Oh my. The best laid plans….. You just never know.

Alison said...

Oh for Pete's sake! I would have been so miffed at that first "group." Although I have to admit, one reason why I hesitate to have either parties or tours is a fear that no one will show up. You handled it with a great deal of class. Have a great weekend, and I hope the 2014 tours are a roaring success.

Mary@mydogsmygardenandmary said...

Isn't that the way - people that ask the most are the ones that don't show up. You would have thought that she would have called and told you that they were not coming. Very rude. So glad that the other groups came and enjoyed there self's.
Have a wonderful weekend. Your garden looks pretty even in the winter.

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Karen,

I had a tour two years ago and may sign up again this year. You have such a wonderful property I am sure it is worth a two hour trip.


Pam's English Garden said...

I give tours, too, Karen, so I know how much work the preparation is -- and my garden is much smaller than yours. Your winter scenes are beautiful. P. x