Friday, May 23, 2008

A Visit to Faire Garden to Meet Frances

On a recent trip to visit the in-laws in North Carolina, the Ramsey family stopped and visited Frances at Faire Garden (pronounced Fair). I saw the trip as a perfect opportunity to stop by Frances' neck of Tennessee; which was not so far away. I felt as though I already knew Frances, due to her blog and us talking on the blog. Don't you all feel like you can get to know someone through talking on the Internet too? This cyberworld is amazing.

It was a shock when she first called and I heard her voice. It was not at all what I had expected. This is probably the weirdest part of meeting people from the Internet. We all have a vision and idea of what others sound like, even what they look like if we have never seen them, and maybe even a bit of how they act if we know a little something about them or their background. In our case, Frances and I have seen each other, but not talked. I was quite relieved when she told me my voice did not sound anything like she imagined either. I also experienced this shock when I first heard Nina on the phone. Nina, was my voice a shock to you too?

Mr. Fix-it and the Jimster were along for the ride. Fortunately they indulge my great passion for gardening. The Jimster could not believe the garden when he walked around to the backyard. I won't tell you his exact comment, but he and Mr. Fix-it were quite amazed and impressed. And to think, Jimmy thought he would stay in the truck! That was funny. He and his Dad had a great time enjoying the food and shade while Frances showed me around her astonishing garden. All I can say is there truly is not an inch of ground left! All is covered with plants of all kinds. Some I had never even heard of, but Frances knew all the names and had stories with many. Isn't this how we all are? If not, then I guess we wouldn't blog.

The first picture is a macro picture of a gazania in Frances' garden. It was actually taken by her while she was showing me the macro feature. What a help! I have always admired her beautiful photos and maybe now I can get some good close ups too. Thanks for showing me this feature Frances! The second picture is of her lillies in bud. I took this picture not so much for the lillies, but to remind me how she massed them in groups all along the hill. The last picture is a favorite part of the garden (there were many). This part is a steep hill covered with what I think is 'Acre' sedum, some ornamental grass and a lovely Japanese maple. I thought the use of the sedum on the steep hill was ingenious. (It is purely coincidence Frances posted nearly the same picture yesterday)

As much as I enjoyed seeing the garden, it came in second to meeting a fellow gardener and blogger. The real highpoint was talking and getting to know one another in another realm not in the cyberworld. I was honored I got to meet Gardoctor as well. He is the offspring who built the arbor and compost bin. I thank Frances for inviting us all to her lovely garden and look forward to more sit down time in the future.

I really enjoyed Frances' garden and could not believe the amount of work she has put into it in such a short time. The garden is mature, full and well organized. Her pond itself has gone through five incarnations! Who can't relate to that? I enjoyed that there was so much interest, no matter the season. We have all seen her posts and I think Frances has done a great job of reflecting the garden and its true spirit in her pictures. At first though I must admit, I nearly had Mr. Fix-it stop at Mae and Mickey's garden just up the road from her. That is quite the garden and you all have heard Frances talk of these two Gardeners Extraordinaire on many occasions. Frances is also a 'Gardener Extraordinaire' in her Faire Garden. Frances kind of sums it all up by saying she is a gardener, who happens to have a digital camera and a blog. Yes, but so much more too! Thanks for sharing.

I have met two of the Tennessee bloggers, Frances and Gail, and I am looking forward to meeting not only Dave, but many more bloggers as time goes by.

in the garden....


  1. Good Morning All.
    Tina what a lovely post. The pics are wonderful. I am so glad you got to meet Frances. She sounds like a lovely lady with a great garden of which she must spend lots of hrs. for it to be so grand. I'm glad you got to have a few minutes to chat with her & get to know her a little better. Maybe you will get the chance later to visit longer.

    Have a wonderful day all.

  2. I know what you mean! I can't wait to meet Skeeter this evening.

  3. What a great visit - so neat that you could finally meet a garden blogger you've been talking with over the internet for a while, and to be able to view such a lovely garden too.

  4. What a pretty garden! Hope to be at that point in my beds but no way for every piece of ground. Frances, you must spent hours on end working on your faire garden, love the name.

  5. Lola, It was really great to meet Frances. I look forward to someday meeting you too!

    Jillybean, Let me know if the voice thing is the same with you. Have fun. Skeeter is a super gal and maybe one day we too can meet!

    Amy, It was pretty cool. Frances said she found garden bloggers to be the best people and that is so true!

    Dawn, Isn't this what we all want? No ground showing! I know I do (less weeding!)

  6. These blogs are so great so it just adds to them to be able to meet the great bloggers or commentors in person.
    But I do think people are always quite different in person than the person we think them to be. I read Frances every day and had her pictured as a statuesque or schoolmarmish person, maybe I got that from her pic by her name. However after spring fling she had a photo of herself climbing in something (can't remember what it was) and she is a very attractive lady with a look that says she has a great heart!!! Her gardens are truly very magnificence. Guess that just goes to show how we should not form a look just from some cyberspace writtings. Hope I get to meet some folks when I go south. I think meeting them will only make the warmth we feel for them grow.

    Skeeter have a safe trip to Clarksville and great visit.

    Hope everyone has a great day.

  7. It is always nice to meet people whom we chat with on line. As a child I always wondered what it would be like to have a Pen Pal and now look at all the pen pal's I have as an adult! LOL...

    Frances sounds like a wonderful person and I reckon I must stop by her Blog and check it out... I will be slowing down in about a week so more time to look in with new people... One can never have too many friends whether Cyber or in person..

    See you soon Jillybean! Be warned I will have my camera with me for a quick snap...

    Everyone have a safe fun Weekend and remember all the Men and Women dying past and present for our wonderful Freedoms…

  8. Hi Tina, That is really a glowing account of our meeting and the garden. You could be my PR agent anytime! Thanks for much for coming and bringing some of your wonderful family. I wish you could have stayed longer, I think we could have talked for many hours! I also hope to meet Dave, I met Gail in Austin, we should plan a get together some time. It was an honor to meet you and will cherish the plaque and plants you brought always. Thanks so much,

  9. Hello Tina, I'm so glad you got to visit with Frances. I can imagine from seeing her blog that her place is breath taking. Lot's of hard work and planning has gone into it!

    To answer your question - I don't remember being shocked when I heard your voice. But I'm sure you were shocked with my southern accent!

    Everyone have a safe weekend. Nina

  10. Nina! Glad to see you again!

  11. Hi Tina --this was a beautiful garden. It is so nice to see all these beautiful gardens --I really appreciate all the guidance and really enjoy seeing the fruits of everyones labor. I tossed the tulips seed pod since it would probably be alot harder to start than buying more bulbs:) And, I will have to get a piece off the lilac and start more:)
    Hi Nina --what a hot day we had today --hope you are staying cool --I think of your little bridge with water running thru it now when I think about your yard:) That was something very unique and very very pretty.

    Hi Jean --hope you are enjoying those lilacs for me since mine are gone --give them a little sniff for me:) I wish I could grow those year round.

    Hi Lola --I'm sure it's steamy and hot in your neck of the woods. And, I can imagine alot of dirt dumping from small boys shoes --mine stops in the middle of a walk to tell me to get it out, hahaha. It is starting to feel humid here tonight --had a few rain drops and it just kicks up the humidity.

    Hi Dawn, we have to get out now --they start the poor kiddos in early August when it's like 100 degrees outside, lol. So, we have to make due with this time and swim, swim, swim --oh yes and play ball. Seriously we start school the first week of August.

    Hi Skeeter --if you're reading this and in my area please feel free to stop by and see us. I know I am really close to your folks --just drop in and say hi --you can swim if you want too:)

    And, Tina come by anytime too:) We are on summer break which means we are free --free-free:) Except for piano and ball nights:) lol

  12. Hi all, Long day today.

    Mom, Blogs are definitely a neat thing. I am learning a lot!

    Skeeter, Hope you got a pic of Jillybean.

    Frances, Thanks to you for inviting us and I love my plants too. They are almost all planted all faired the trip well. It was a long trip too!

    Nina, I am so glad you added your rock and all. It is hot, best to slow down now on planting and everything. No, not shocked with the southern accent at all. But voices are sometimes a shock.

    Anonymous, I will try Monday and will email or call. I want to see those huge hostas. Yes, they do bloom and some are even fragrant. Not like lilacs but any scent will do sometimes. I happy, happy, happy school is out too.

    Night all. Tomorrow is a field trip to the Don Shadows Nursery with Master Gardeners and it will be a long day as we depart at 6 am! SuzyQ-Another benefit of Master Gardeners. Glad to see Matt's hand is healing up quickly.

  13. Yes, he is finally getting spunky again - weren't the pin pictures crazy?!

    The field trip sounds great!

  14. SuzyQ, I am SO glad his hand is healing well. My daughter did the same thing a few years ago on a can at home. It was pretty bad. Those hand cuts seem the worst.

  15. Tina,

    Well this garden blogger was pleased to meet you. I was also lucky to meet Frances in Austin.

    Her garden photos are outstanding aren't they!

    It would be fun to see all the gardens of our blogging friends.

    See you,

  16. It would be neat to meet people you've gotten to know on the computer. Too bad not too many people live close enough to swing a meeting. Sounds like you had a lovely visit.

  17. Gail, Thank you so much and I was very pleased to meet you too. I think it makes it maybe a bit easier talking on the Internet? But not necessary-just nicer.

    Cinj, It is so neat knowing there are real people out there behind the computer and maybe getting to meet them sometime. The new friends is the unexpected side effect of blogging.

  18. I had to get back on my chair - fell off it laughing at the idea of Frances being 'schoolmarmish'...she may write like the heroine of a Jane Austen novel, but in person is a bit more mischievous!

    I'm so glad to hear your account of a lovely meeting between garden bloggers, Tina. We in Austin have been very lucky, spending the last 2 years flitting all over town to meet and chat and then enjoying Spring Fling ... hope these encounters will soon happen everywhere!

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  19. Hi Annine in Austin, Glad you had a good laugh! It is kind of hard to judge people on the Internet by their writing and we may have been a bit off with Frances.

    I hope we Tennessee bloggers can get together and meet one another. Frances and I spoke of the amount of bloggers you all have in Texas-not just Austin. We wondered why there aren't more Tennessee bloggers? We probably garden just as much but not talk so much. Sounds like you guys have a great cyberworld garden group going and are close enough to share! Plants, pictures and companionship!

  20. A bit off? I think we were at least a tad off! I think she is cute as a button and she musta been in one great mood Thursday with all her Ha'S in replying to comments.