Saturday, September 20, 2014

Fifteen Weeks of Fame (almost)

Mid-September already and where have I been?  Well, where haven't I been would be the better answer, I guess.  My dear mother has had some health issues, nothing serious, but she is in need of my help more now.  My health has been pretty good, but the new thyroid doctor I found less than a year ago is moving to another state.  I am jinxed in that department; I scare them all away.  I have a consultation with a new doctor lined up for November, but I'm not looking forward to the appointment.  Enough about that...

I was in the garden a lot.  Weeding, planting, repeat.  We had two big garden tours/bus trips followed by wedding parties for photography.   We attended three more weddings and there was another booyah party here in August.   I went kayaking once, did a little kite flying twice, and in the middle was a whole lot of tour-guiding visitors through the rock piles of good ol' Quarry Garden.

We had our fifteen weeks of fame this summer.  Way back in April we were photographed and written up in 'Our Wisconsin' magazine and with my cellphone number in the article, my pocket was ringing quite a bit with visitors from all over the country coming to tour 'The Prettiest Farm in Wisconsin'.  (My that's a big title for a humble hut in an alfalfa field, isn't it??)

'Build it and they will come' or have a magazine write about it and that works, too.

 This was the first week we haven't had company since early June.   I didn't keep a running total, but I would estimate we had over 1,300 people look at this rock obsession we call home this year. 

If you want to be a Phone Receptionist/Tour Guide here, these will be the most asked questions.  (Answers are in italics.)  Ready?

How long have you been working on this? A long time.
Did you have a master plan drawn up by an architect? Ah, NO.
How did you know what to plant where? Trial and error.  Lots of the latter.
Are you a Master Gardener/have you had horticultural training/degrees?  Nope.
How many hours a day does it take to weed all this?  32.6
How many people do you employ?  0
What are your hours?  When I get up and when it gets dark.
Is there staff available for tours?  No staff, but I'm here most of the time.
Do we need an appointment or can we come anytime?   An appointment would be great, also it will mean I am fully clothed on your arrival.
Do you have an underground watering system?  Yes and no, there is a well, and we move the water above ground with long, nasty, twisting hoses WHEN we water which ain't a whole lot.
Who built all the garden structures?  Carl with help from spouse and children when necessary.
Would Carl build a dome/stone house/stone wall/stone pyramid/ball fountain/propane tank balls/weird garden art/pan fountains, etc for other people?  Not if his wife can help it.
Why do you plant all these annuals?  Because I love long season color and I'm goofy like that.
How did you ever find a property with an abandoned stone quarry on it?  Refer them to the construction photo album.
Do you ever have weddings here?  Once in awhile.
This could be a real moneymaker.  HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA...repeat.
Why haven't we ever heard of you before?  Faulty advertising staff.
Do you ever just enjoy it or are you always working?  No and yes.  (Ok, sarcasm aside, I enjoy it whenever I look up from weeding and see a flower in bloom against a blue sky.)
Why don't you spray weedkiller/fertilize your lawn?  No money in budget, plus, weeds are green.  And tough.
Do you ever sit out here and read a book?  No.
Do you take your morning coffee out by the pond and enjoy the sunrise?  Not a coffee drinker, definitely not a morning person, but have been known to weed by moonlight.
Is gardening a passion you both share?  Some days. 
Why don't you have a bottle tree?  We don't drink wine.
Why don't you drink wine?  We don't have the time, but Carl is an avid milk drinker.  Somehow a milk jug tree doesn't have the same appeal.
Who has the vision for the landscaping?  We're both guilty.
What is your favorite plant? That's like picking a favorite child, can't be done.
How much land do you own?  98 acres.
Are you going to keep expanding?  No, no, at least not today.
What is this stone 'ruin' thing?  We call it Castle Aaargh because......oh, never mind.
Do you intend to finish it?  How long will it take?   Yes and how long can you stay?  Do you know how to cut rock?  
Why do you make so many stained glass lamps?  We can't stop ourselves, they're like potato chips.
What will happen to this garden when you are too old/dead?  A bulldozer will push the rocks into the quarry and it will be an alfalfa field again.

Our fifteen weeks of fame are past now, but that's ok.  It was fun while it lasted.  The time flew by.

And speaking of time flying; Carl and I celebrated our 36th wedding anniversary earlier this month.  We were 20 when we got hitched, so you can do the math.  No, that's not our weeding attire, those were wedding duds as we were on our way to a reception when Joel took this picture in June. 

1872 Weeks of Wedded Bliss.  More or less. 

 And it went by like a blur.........


FlowerLady Lorraine said...

Dear Karen ~ So good to read your post this morning. I was going to send you an email to see how you all are doing and was so glad to see this post of yours.

I LOVE that photo of you and Carl.

Belated Happy 36th.

You've had a busy summer. Congrats on the mag article.

Love and hugs to the both of you ~ FlowerLady

Junebug said...

So glad you are back! Your summer sure was busy but also sounded fun!. Love the tour guide questions. Great pic of you and Carl! Happy Aniv.!!

El Gaucho said...

Glad that you're back in the blogosphere. It sounds like you've have a busy summer indeed. Now I'll need to go search online and find that magazine article!!

And I must say that you and Carl clean up quite well, that's a lovely picture.

Alison said...

I'm so glad to see a post from you, Karen! I guess you've been busy from the sound of it. I laughed over your silly answers to the many questions you've been fielding. How very cool that your garden was written up in a magazine! Love the photo of the two of you on your way to a wedding, what lovely smiles, and you look fabulous. Happy Anniversary!

Pamela Gordon said...

Karen, you and Carl look great! Happy 36th anniversary to you. You've had a very busy summer and can you believe it's over and fall is arriving? It went too fast as usual. Nice to see your post today. Take care. Pam

Indie said...

Haha, milk jug tree! Sorry, I just loved all your answers! Wow, you have sure been busy! I wish I lived closer and could come visit and see it too - the photos of your garden always look so beautiful. It probably truly is 'the prettiest farm in Wisconsin'! Happy Anniversary to you two!

Pam's English Garden said...

Now I can see why you didn't post for a while -- busy, busy. The hard work you spent in your garden is obvious... it is gorgeous. Thanks for the answers to those questions -- I may use some of them. Happy belated anniversary. P. x

Garden Fancy said...

I loved your painfully hilarious answers to FAQs! That's amazing that you've had so many visitors -- and that's quite an honor to be awarded the Prettiest farm in WI. (We have the same thing in the Our Iowa mag here that my husband's mother subscribes to. I always read it and enviously compare our place to the Prettiest Farms in Iowa.) Congratulations for all the recognition, as well as for your anniversary! thanks for sharing with us. -Beth

Donna said...

I have lost touch but am glad to be back visiting your amazing garden. And boy what a great time to visit. Happy Anniversary and congrats on your 15 minutes of fame.

I loved your answers. I was chuckling throughout!

Zoey said...

Hi Karen,

So may little time. It must be tough to try to keep everything looking good for all those people!

I am glad you don't drink wine...I think a wine bottle tree would spoil all the natural beauty you have.

Congrats on 36 years of bliss! Here's a tip of the milk jug to the next 36. :)

africanaussie said...

Oh I am glad the fame died down a bit so that you had time to post on the blog again. i laughed at some of the questions you get asked (and even more at your answers) . You always bring a smile to my face. Love that photo of your garden. awesome

PlantPostings said...

Happy anniversary, first off! And congratulations on the article in the magazine. Your quarry garden is incredible--so nice of you to share with visitors. I missed your posts, but you were busy! Glad you're back. Cheers!