Thursday, July 7, 2016

Blooming Away

Here we are into the first week of July already and the heat and humidity have arrived right on cue. Carl and I have finally gone through every bed on the place once and in some cases, three times in our never-ending quest for weedy invaders.

 We've had a very active weather pattern this summer, with storms blowing through almost every weekend.  Surprisingly we've not had much rain here and the garden is starting to suffer.  The lawn is starting to go dormant on the sand veins and makes a crunchy sound underfoot.  Last night I heard a little reluctant grumbling thunder and woke to see about a quarter inch of rain in the gauge.  Hopefully we'll see some nice, gentle rain later this week.  

 July is truly a jewel of a month in the garden with everything coming into bloom seemingly at once.  I wish I could slow everything down in order to savor all the color.
(Since I've acquired a smartphone I find myself taking many pictures while I'm on my knees weeding.  I prefer the 35mm camera much more, but unfortunately it's not always with me like my phone is.)
 I rescued the unknown pink Asiatic lilies from a yard waste facility compost pile a few years ago.  They've repaid me for my efforts many times over.

All too soon the petals will be lying on the ground.

   This weekend is the start of many garden walks all over the state and Carl and I are hoping to attend at least three of them if all goes well.  I love to tour gardens, it's nice to know other people are as crazy as we are. 

We've had two small garden groups tour here in the past week, all very nice people.  I like small groups the best, much easier to talk to everyone and answer questions.

One thing I have been guilty of doing a few times when we have large garden walks is blending in with the groups as they go through the yard.  We most often hear compliments from people, which is nice, to be sure. However, you do learn what people really think when they don't realize you're the Chick in Charge.   And, for the most part, they oftentimes regret having said what they think once they realize who I am.  But that's ok, people are entitled to their opinions. 

I've heard everything from, 'There's too many rocks here, I don't care for that look, what were they thinking?' to 'It's just a hosta garden, everybody knows hostas don't take any work'.  

I know in the past I've written about my very first garden visitor on our first formal open garden walk circa sometime around 1996.   (Have we really had people traipsing through the yard for twenty years?  Wow, even I'm amazed.)  But anyway, back to my First Guest.  She was the rudest person I've ever encountered before or since, thank goodness.  She really set the bar high, or maybe low?   I often wonder who she was.  I know she was totally startled to find out she was trash talking to the Chick in Charge.  

To this day I do not know how she could have mistaken me for a fellow garden tourist; I was coiling up a hose when she walked up to deliver her scathing review of our efforts.  

"Did you see the daylilies aren't deadheaded?  Did you see the ugly colors of annuals (annuals??  Snicker!) they've planted together?  Ugh, who uses orange in the garden?  You'd think they'd spend some money on the house since they can afford all those stupid annuals, wouldn't you?  How long are you going to stay here?  Are you going on to the next garden?  Do you know how to get there?  If you do I'll follow you since I get lost easily.  What?  You're staying here?  Why?  What could possibly interest you here, there's nothing to see, I was bored the minute I walked in the driveway.  Gravel, by the way, ugh."

"No, I'm not leaving," I said.


"Because I live here."

Cue the mortified look.   On both of our faces; mine because this was our first garden walk and my tender gardener feelings were wounded to the core; I wanted to run and hide.  (After quashing the urge to throttle her with the hose.)  This is what it's like to open your garden to the general public?  I didn't like it, not one little bit.

The Vexed Visitor simply stared at me in disbelief; I mean, really?  How can you recover from that?  'Oh, just kidding!' doesn't cut it.  If I would have been in her shoes, I would have run for my life, but to her credit (or incredible stupidity) she stayed with the group and stole frightened looks at me as I answered questions from the rest of the people.  

In one of the last garden groups I could tell there was dissension in the ranks, my gardening 'skills' were being questioned once again.  Now I'm twenty years older and a bonafide member of the Red Hat Ladies which surely must entitle me the right to plant red geraniums with purple petunias if I so choose, right?  I no longer cower when people ask me questions, I face them and tell them the truth:  I plant what I love.

One of the ladies a few weeks ago said,

"I'm amazed at how you have everything intermixed in your garden.  I always keep things in one place, hostas in one bed, daylilies in another, you know?  But you have everything planted together.  I've never thought of doing that."

 I looked at my garden through her eyes at that point and realized she was right, I do have a hodge-podge of botanical specimens intermingled with each other, don't I?  

I wasn't sure if my visitor was pleased with the disorganization or not, but in my goofy mind I took it as a compliment.  I explained my GADS affliction and how I can start out planting a hosta only to end up cutting down a tree which lets more light in and then, well, since there's more light, a lily would do well here too, and wait, how about some annuals for when the perennials are done, and yes, before I know it, there's disorganized chaos reigning supreme once again.

But, I'm not going to sweat it.
 Everyone has different gardening tastes.  

Some are orderly.   And some are mine.

No need to pout.

There's room in the horticultural world for all kinds of gardens.  

 If two clematis vines can coexist on one light pole,

  There's room for all kinds of gardeners, too.  How boring if every garden was the same.  We've made some wonderful friends through the tours here; people who come back year after year (and bring their friends.)  It's like a reunion some times, and when we can give a little joy to an elderly person in a wheelchair, well, then that makes this all worthwhile.  :-)

And off to another random thought, does anyone else see something in this rock?

 From the side I either see a man sitting on a stool (milking a cow?) or depending how you view it, a face in profile.

And from the front:
I believe I see a gorilla!  

Ok, maybe it's time for some sleep.


Sue said...

That's the thing with gardens--they are supposed to be personal, an expression of YOU.
I fell in love with your garden right away--I also like annuals and a MIX of plants. To me, putting ALL hostas together and ALL lilies together would be.......BORING. The worst gardens to me are those "stiff' ones that have everything in tidy , coordinated beds perfectly aligned and with one or two colors and that's it. And yet, those are the folks that feel they have to tell everyone else how to garden. We're all different!!!!

But yes, I would be mortified to hear the personal opinions of my garden. I am a casual gardener, I love gardening, and it is my joy. I'm not about to let people wander here and ruin it for me.

Anyways, I love the update and glad you always carry a phone, even if it is on a camera. Any garden picture is great!!! Have a good week, Karen

Sue said...

Ha--I just reread my comment---that was supposed to read glad you always carry a CAMERA--even if it is a PHONE one. Sheesh. That was before my coffee!!!

chavliness said...

I discover your comment on The Outlaw and had to check you out. Your garden is practically a park and so magnificent; I wish you were on my garden tour schedule. I was hoping you were only blogging for a short while so I can go back and catch up, but alas, you've been at it for a while... You do have the most beautiful garden! The rock from the front looks like, well, a rock. But from the back (?) I see a hug. Not sure who is hugging whom, but definitely a hug :-)

Alison said...

I've always thought you are incredibly brave to have continued to offer tours of your garden after your initial experience was so emotionally harsh. I would not have done it. I had blogging friends here once two years ago and have never done it again. Who on earth has beds with no mixed plants? Isn't contrast the point? My lilies are blooming now too, and they smell heavenly.

Peonies & Magnolias said...

We had the same thing happen to us when we opened our garden for tours. It's amazing to me what people have the gall to say at times!!! I love your garden and it looks fabulous!!!

Have a great weekend.


Karen said...

Sue, I knew what you meant about the camera, no worries! Gardens are personal, no doubt about it, you and I see things the same way. I love my annuals and I don't care who wants to argue with me over them. Thank you for your kind thoughts!

Karen said...

chavliness, thank you for visiting the Quarry! If by any chance you live in Wisconsin, stop on in anytime. I'm happy to meet you.

Karen said...

Alison, I know, planting all the same plants in the garden would be like owning a closet full of gray shirts and nothing else. Just gray shirts, day in, day out. We keep the garden open because 'most' people seem to enjoy it so much. Of course, most people are not all people, but that's ok. Weirdly enough, even when my health isn't the best, it's the garden that keeps me going and having to keep it up is just one more incentive to get better and keeps my depression at bay.

Karen said...

Sandy, have you ever had another garden walk at your beautiful garden? We do enjoy the vast majority of people who have come through here over the years; I should have pointed that out, I guess. There's always one or two who have opinions they need to air but that's the way it is with people. We can't make everyone happy, and some people are determined to be cranky no matter what they do.

FlowerLady Lorraine said...

Dear Karen ~ I have loved your gardens since I first found you on some forum or other many years ago, showing the start of your quarry garden, which lead me to your blog and I've been following you ever since. I personally 'love' your style.

Looking at your photos made me itch to get outside before it gets too hot this morning.

Have a nice weekend with Carl ~ Love & hugs ~ FlowerLady

Karen said...

Awww Rainey, we have been friends for years, haven't we? I love your gardening style, too, and you've influenced me more than you know. My only regrets are the miles that separate us. :-)

Beth @ PlantPostings said...

Gosh, your photos are amazing, no matter what camera you use! LOL: I loved this post. And this, my friend is why I think you are incredibly kind and giving to continue inviting garden tours. I can't even imagine--on so many levels! Your garden is incredibly stunning.

Junebug said...

Oh my what gorgeous color you have in your garden! I'm afraid I would sit in that new chair, coffee in hand and love looking out at everything. But I'm afraid the weeds would say "watch me grow"! Dang them!