October has arrived and the weather has definitely changed. I turned the furnace on for the first time today. A few days before we were running the air conditioning, but that's Wisconsin. If you don't like the weather, stick around for an hour or two, it's bound to change. (Except for winter which hangs around a tad longer.)
I'm so far behind on posting and all the activities that went on around here that I'll play catch up in reverse; starting from where we are now.
|My five year old geraniums, still putting out the flowers in October|
|There are about twenty Supertunia 'Pink Bubblegum' plants here and even with the difficult weather we've had this summer, they are still cranking out the blooms in October.|
The ladies arrived on time and said I was right about the pink since you can see it from a half mile away. After introductions, I started on my well-worn tour spiel and route again; we've had a few hundred people come through the yard again this year so I have it down to a science.
However, there are always surprises with every group, as I'll get to in a minute.
This group was very interested in everything, especially the reclaimed junk yard art. (Some groups are in a rush/disinterested, so I try to read their faces and skip ahead a bit so as not to bore people. ) This last garden walk of the year was genuinely fascinated, so we started at the end of the driveway and had a lively discussion about the tree grate entrance.
|Blue Salvia 'Victoria', 'Oh So Easy' Rose, calamagrostis 'Karl Foerster' and of course, Supertunia 'Bubblegum'|
|There's a tree grate in there, somewhere.|
|Frank the Urn with Dragon Wing Begonia and sweet potato vine.|
|One lone purple 'Wave' petunia in the sea of pink.|
Then we moved on to the Pachyberm which is also, yeah, you guessed it, pink.
|Pachyberm dripping with yet more 'Bubblegums'.|
I did plant one section of the Pachyberm with nasturtiums which also flourished though you can see the 'Bubblegums' were advancing on them, too.
|Bring your machete, it's a jungle in there.|
|Hey! Something else that's not a petunia.|
|Carl's Pipe Ball|
|It weighs about 60 pounds but it's easy to roll for lawn mowing.|
|A few zinnas that weren't what the seed packet said, but that's ok.|
The tour made their way down the lawn.
|Frazzled hostas and more petunias.|
|There's a new trellis in there, too.|
(Speaking of the wedding, we're still waiting on the photographer's professional photos. As soon as I get them there will be a Wedding Post.) And I forgot to add that not all of my petunias were pink this year; in honor of the wedding, I planted another Supertunia 'Bordeaux' in the driveway lightshade planters.
Ernie's also a little worn from the weather, but still pretty flashy.
Where were we? Oh, yes, the ladies progressed to the Quarry and I whipped out my three-ring binder filled with construction photos to explain the sight they were beholding and how it came to be.
|There's a Quarry in there somewhere.|
|Bubblegums in the Quarry, hopefully they'll stick the rocks together.|
|We so appreciate this addition to the garden!|
Hang a left at the top of the ramp, please.
|Hostas and shrubs on the Quarry Hill|
|Going around the corner|
|I planted a bunch of our unnamed hosta seedlings here, most of them are blue.|
|Going around the corner, almost out of the woods|
"They're for looking at," I said. "Art."
"And the pyramid?"
Ok, that part of my spiel could probably be more eloquent.
|The East Quarry Hill and a Weeping Norway Spruce|
|Pinus koreansis 'Winton' and Tidal Wave Silver petunias|
So there, three-fourths of the garden tour was over. We were now heading for the Egress Gate and the hosta garden. Remember when I said there is always some surprise when we have visitors?
And then the surprise happened. I'm standing there, blathering on about coleus and begonias and hydrangeas and all of a sudden I hear:
"Look at the raccoon!" one of them said as she pointed behind me.
Raccoon?? What raccoon?
"It's right behind you!"
Time stood still. I looked down and less than an inch from my bare ankle was the biggest raccoon I've ever seen. I took a slow and deliberate Giant Step to the side. A Very Giant Step, believe me. I almost sat down on my prat in a heap of hostas.
"Oh, I think it's asleep," the lady said.
"What's asleep?" the others asked as they gathered around to see what the fuss was about.
From my vantage point I could tell the raccoon wasn't asleep, though it did look that way at first. I stared and there was absolutely no movement, thank goodness. My heart was pounding and I was really jumpy now, time to think fast.
Can you imagine having six nice ladies chased around the garden by a sick raccoon? I did, and it wasn't pretty.
To paraphrase David Letterman's old Late Show: "Oh NO! We're gonna get sued!"
"Ladies, come this way quickly, don't get too close to it, oh my goodness, this is a first," I'm babbling on like an idiot.
"Oh, well, look at that! I wonder what's wrong with the poor thing?"
"Um, well, I think it's dead, actually," I stammered.
"That's a good question, I have no idea, I guess it could have gotten hit on the road and made it this far. Gosh, I'm sorry about this!"
I tried to pick up the thread of the rest of garden walk spiel but lost my train of thought. We just cruised through the hostas and on to the end of the tour while I silently berated myself on not walking the garden in the morning.
|Fleeing the scene of the Unknown Crime, step away from the body!|
Yes, this was the last tour of the year for 2015. And it was a Doozy. The ladies did seem to recover from the shock, though I don't think I have yet. They came in the house afterward to see our burgeoning stained glass obsession and we all parted as friends. I thought maybe the stained glass would help them forget the surprise in the garden.
But somehow, I doubt it.
I'm sure my guests will never forget this garden tour. I know I won't.