Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Our Garden is a Centerfold

The first day of February already, hard to believe.  Since I've last written, things have gone on about the same with doctor appointments for my mother and my father-in-law.  Every day someone had to be somewhere; but today I have nothing scheduled.  Hopefully nothing unscheduled will arise, either.

In the midst of all the chaos with our elders, something pleasantly unexpected happened.  On December 26 I received a message from Rob Zimmer, a gifted garden writer/photographer with the caption, "Merry Christmas!"


Carl and I were truly surprised; Rob has been here a few times and has written articles about garden walks in the area and included photos of our garden but we had no idea he was writing an article about the garden for the magazine, 'Wisconsin Gardening'.

We scurried off to a book store to purchase a copy (ok, three copies) of the magazine.  As Carl stood perusing the article in the book store, a lady seated at a table near the magazine rack said, "Carl, is that you?  This is amazing; I'm sitting here, reading the article about your garden and I look up and there you are!  Can I get your autograph?"

We are humbled by the glorious photographs Rob captured.  He is truly gifted with a camera.

A few years ago we were featured in another magazine, 'Our Wisconsin'.  We were amazed by the amount of people who had seen the article and wanted to visit the garden in person.  For awhile I had phone calls every week asking 'When is the garden open?' and 'Will the staff be available for tours?'  (Ha, ha, ha......'Staff', that one still cracks me up.)  I didn't keep track of the visitors generated from the magazine, but I know there were over one hundred people who came to see our horticultural rock pile due to the article.  

Will this article also generate interest?  Hard to say.  Probably just about everyone who has wanted to see it has already done so.  

 Carl had been adamant about upcoming garden walks; he wanted to take at least a year's break from keeping the rock pile tour-ready and work on Castle Aaargh this coming summer as much as possible so we're ready for the 2019 American Hosta Convention tour.  We love having visitors, but it is hard to keep the place pristine and get any construction work done, as you well know.  (I mean, I've complained about it enough here, right?)

So far, I've had three requests for garden bus tours this coming summer, two from Wisconsin and one from Iowa.  

Did I turn them down?  No.  I know my health isn't fantastic and who knows what will happen with our elders, but oh, what the heck.  I need to have something to strive for, something to look forward to.  I don't know how long we can continue to garden on this scale, but as time goes on I'm less stressed about people's expectations.  

I told the first group scheduled for June 6 we'd had the yard torn up in November for septic renovations and have no idea if we'll even have grass planted by their visit, but the lady in charge of organizing said it was no big deal, don't worry about it!  
 Ok.  I'm not worried.  I should be, though, right?  I mean, look at that lawn..........

Oh, well.  Life is short.  If we can bring a little happiness to people by letting them stroll through or sit on a bench in the sunshine and watch the butterflies, then it's worth it.  And if they see a weed (or a dozen) or a house in need of repairs, well, I'll jack up the staff and tell them to get to work. 

Bring on the tours.



Pam's English Garden said...

Congratulations, Karen. Well deserved! How I wish I lived nearer and could visit your magnificent gardens and read the article. Actually, I linked to your blog in my posting today. Hope your week continues to be calm. P. x

Sue said...

Oh, Karen--how wonderful!
You do have the most beautiful garden and I don't blame all the folks who want to come see it.
Tell Carl there will be plenty of time to rest later down the road when you guys are old.

El Gaucho said...

You guys are famous! Well, more famous is probably more accurate.

FlowerLady Lorraine said...

How exciting! Once again, you're wonderful gardens have been published for the world to see.

I hope you are able to get more work done on Castle Aaargh. I know you'll feel good when that is all done.

Take care of yourself dear Karen. Glad things are no worse with your Mom and FIL.

Love and hugs to you and Carl ~ FlowerLady

Alison said...

Congrats on being featured in a magazine! That must have been very gratifying. I do hope your spring and summer go well.

outlawgardener said...

Joining the chorus of congratulations for your garden's well-deserved magazine fame! Your huge garden is always amazing to me and how you do it all is baffling. Your garden is stunning even with the new septic project mountain range where the lawn used to be! Wishing you peace and good health!

Peonies & Magnolias said...

That is AWESOME. Congratulations on your gorgeous garden being seen by even more people. I hope you are having a good week and your health issues getting better.

Larry said...

Cogratulations.... an honor well deserved! Larry

Beth said...

Hi Karen, Is it by chance the Polk County Master Gardeners from Iowa touring your garden this summer? I am a part of that group and I think I gave them info regarding your garden and Larry's, a few years ago.

Larry told me that the PCMG are touring his gardens in July; wondered if you are on the same tour? I'm hoping so, as I'd like to visit again! :)

Carol said...

I;m sure there are lots of people who would still love to see your gardens... I know I would! I have faith that you will look great some tour season even if the grass is not as green as you'd like ♥ Take care of yourself !

Beth @ PlantPostings said...

Congratulations--well-deserved! OK, so I am one of those people who hasn't seen your garden but wants to. :) I promise I will think it's amazing! I am not brave enough to have people tour my garden (small groups of friends are fine), but I'm more of the garden writer type. ;-)

Karen said...

Hello All, sorry I wasn't back to comment sooner than this, things here have been hectic once again. Thank you all for your kind comments, you really know how to make my day. And Beth, yes, the tour group is coming from Polk County MG. I hope to see you!

Beth said...

I'm planning on it!!! It will be nice to see you and Carl again. :)

Betsy said...

Congratulations! Well deserved, your gardens are just so beautiful?
Darn right "remember that deductible". You are a trooper I see and you are getting through the tough times because you can and have the will. So far mom has been good with no health issues for the past year and we have been counting our blessings too.
Blessings Betsy

Indie said...

Congratulations!! That's awesome! I know you and Carl work so hard on the gardens. I wish I could see them!

Donna@GWGT said...

Really well deserved Karen. Your garden is beautiful and so well designed. The rock work is superb. All the hard work deserves this attention and exposure. Congrats.

chavliness said...

Oh, let them all come. I've visited gardens multiple times and I wouldn't be surprised if you had repeat visitors. No one will care about a few weeds or a project going on. Gardeners are forgiving souls. I'd be a proud as a peacock if I were you: congratulations!

Pamela Gordon said...

This is wonderful Karen! You and Carl have worked so hard on your property to make it beautiful and appealing for visitors. I would certainly put it on my list to visit if I were able to. I hope the article does garner some interest and more tours for you but also hope it isn't too much for you with all the care you give to your aging parents. I guess time will tell. Congratulations to you and Carl!!