Friday, June 20, 2008

The Tour Draws Near

The tour draws near, tomorrow. Yup, it is coming up faster than a Popsicle melts outside in the southern heat. Wow! What was I thinking? I know what I was thinking, how cool would it be to be on the tour? Yes indeed. Time will tell.

My friend Judie, a newly minted Master Gardener, was the one who threw my name into the hat for gardens on this year's tour. She tried to warn me before I got the call from Delona, but didn't catch me in time. I was shocked. Literally shocked. Then it all became clear once Judie reached me.

Judie and I attended the Tree Steward Class Karla put on in 2006. The class consisted of 40 hours of training, and a 25 hour volunteer requirement. Judie and I sat next to each other and got to know one another well. It also helped that she and I were the only 'county' folks in the class. We also happened to live in the same town, Woodlawn.

Judie loves my garden and has visited several times. I am tickled to see her come and visit because she is so enthusiastic about gardening. She and her partner stopped by one day and took a long tour. They have returned many times since that initial visit in 2006, but one memory was unforgettable for all of us. Anyone who is familiar with touch-me-nots, aka jewelweed, know that when they are ripe the seed pods literally explode. In your hands. Judie and Phil visited during the summer when the seedpods were very mature. I asked Judie if she would like some seeds and she said sure. I pointed out a seedpod and said to help herself. It was so hard for me to keep from giving it away! Well, you know what happened! Judie got a shock and could not believe it. I am sure she will never forget those exploding seeds in her fingers, nor will I or Phil.

The upcoming tour will see many friends come by to visit, some for the first and only time, some will return, and some have been here many times. I am looking forward to seeing all visitors. Judie and Phil will be here helping out. They are both Master Gardeners and will be gaining some hours by volunteering. But that is not really the reason they will be here, they will be here because they are my friends, love to garden as much as me, and love my garden (now that she is over the shock). Geri will also be here helping out. She is not earning any volunteer hours, but is my friend who I conned into helping. And I just recently received an email from a Garden Club friend and a wonderful kind woman who has taught me much about gardening and life. The email said, "I am coming to your house to help out with the tour. I will be there around 9 am with something really good to eat. I need directions." Nancy knows I would doth protest too much as I do live a ways out here and would not want her working. Her email left no room for that, so I naturally sent her the directions to the house. What a great bunch of friends. I am not sure who else will show up as of now, but for all of you friends (and you know who you are), thanks for volunteering to help me! Much love. I think we have it covered. There are also a few Master Gardener Volunteers and I appreciate them offering to help out as well!

This will be a learning lesson for me, and a lesson I hope that is not too hard. It is one thing hosting friends, quite another allowing between 200-300 people to visit one's garden. I hope all goes smoothly and ask for not only myself, but the other gardeners on the tour that you all be kind. Our gardens are personal and our works of love we gladly share with you willingly. I know everyone has put a lot of work into their gardens and they are all looking great with this super weather we are having. I expect the weather tomorrow will be superb for a garden tour, hopefully no showers will fall on the gardens until after the tour. Be sure to say hi to the gardener or gardeners, but if they are tied up with someone else, either be patient or understand it will be a busy day for us all. I will have a guest book at my garden and hope everyone who visits will leave their name and a comment or two. Maybe you could tell me your favorite flower or feature in the garden? This would be a nice way for me to remember you and the day. The gardeners will also have a mailing list book for Master Gardener mailings, brochures about the master gardener program and upcoming fall class, and even tickets that you can purchase.

I must say a most, MOST appreciative thank you to my new neighbor, Denise. She has kindly agreed to allow parking at her new home next door. This has been a big relief for me. The last tour I went on in 2006, I found parking at some homes to be difficult. I think her allowing this is an awesome, awesome way to show me what kind of a lady she is and one that I know I will enjoy living next door to. I will be sure to repay her in any way I can. Okay Denise? See ya soon. All the neighbors around here are very happy to have you as a new neighbor and are looking forward to meeting you and your family.

After many years sans hollyhocks, they are back! I hope they continue to return. Hollyhocks are one of Judie's favorite flowers. In fact, I believe it is her most favorited flower. So for her and Phil, the picture of the white hollyhock (my only color) is for them. They have lots of colors in their garden, but one that is memorable is a black hollyhock. The white is a perfect foil for the black and I will gladly share some seeds Judie. :-)

Thanks Phil for sending the picture of this very distinct hollyhock-I think it does make a good counterpoint to the white hollyhock and it is beautiful!

in the garden....expecting visitors and grateful for friends and good neighbors.


  1. I know tomorrow will go great! But good luck anyway. Wish I could come.

  2. Good luck with your tour! It sounds stressful yet exciting, I'm sure it will go great!

  3. Delightful post. If it weren't so far, I'd be right there in the middle of it all. I know everyone will enjoy seeing your lovely garden very, very much.

  4. Good Luck Tina! I know your gardens will be beautiful and wish I could see them but distance will keep me away, Sniff-sniff... Am glad I had a little trot through them back in May....

    I will be crossing my fingers for the rain to skip your yard and come to mine!

  5. Good morning all!

    Jillybean, You are so sweet! Maybe one day you will get up here to Tennessee. We'll have a garden party and invite all blogging friends.

    Dave, Stress is settling in. I keep finding more and more weeds!!!! Not to mention it may rain. But I got my lawn cut. Whew. Now to the weedeating, weeding, pressure washing. Sigh.

    Barbee, You are ever so sweet and I appreciate your kind comments very, very much!

    Skeeter, Yes, do a raindance too because we all need the rain and it is not looking too good. Tomorrow is NOT the day to rain here and if it rains, it should rain in Georgia! Or Maine! Or anywhere else-just not here until after 3 pm.

  6. Good luck Tina but I am sure it will be great. How sweet of Nancy
    to be there for you in such a "I will not take a no answer" way. Denise is also very sweet to put up with all the car and foot traffic that it will generate. As your mother I am very proud of you but not just for the tour, for many, many things. I like to garden some but also know you did not get passionate love for gardening from me but oh boy, is your grandmother ever smiling down from heaven and she will be by your side tomorrow, but then again, I believe she is with all of her family all the time. We all have a lot of Nana and Baba in us!! For that I am ever so gratefull. Nana always used to be soooo proud when one of her many friends was chosen to be on the garden tour and now, just look at this, her first born granddaughter is on it!! WOW. Try to relax and have fun. It will be a great memory maker.

  7. Tina, I think you could mess up and no one will notice, it will go fine, everyone is looking to have a joyful time and will be spending more time on what's growing than what's wrong. Good luck and have a shorter feeling day tom. you'll be back to breathing by evening!

  8. I hope you have a good time tomarrow. I don't think I will get to come. We are still working on our kitchen. I think it is a never ending process.

  9. Hi Tina --so exciting --you'll do great. I've always been told it's good to be nervous when you have something big going on --when it's over you will be so relieved and so fulfilled. Every gardener dreams of a beautiful yard like yours:) Smile -hold on tight the day will go by so fast. Sidekick, hubby and all the kiddos wish you a wonderful day:) We're pretty excited --so darn proud of our Miss Tina (as the kiddos call you)

  10. CONGRATULATIONS, TINA. Having a tour of your gardens is the most. Just be yourself & all will be great. Nervous, heck that goes with a great event. Do hope rain holds off till afterwards. We all need rain--so much of the country is on restrictions.
    So great that you have so many friends to help out. That is great.

  11. Hey plan the party I will do the cooking. :-)

  12. Mom, Thanks so much. Was Nana ever on a garden tour? I know she was in a garden club but not sure about the garden. I never remember that. I still have lots to do though.

    Dawn, Thanks! Should be fun no matter what. I know alot of the people who are touring gardens so that will be the nicest to talk to them all! Fuhhgetabouttheplants.

    Sarah, You can come some other time. You need to get your house fixed before it gets hot again! Houses and gardens are neverending processes. Fix one thing and something else needs attention. Weed one garden and another needs it. Sigh.

    Anonymous, You are so sweet and so are the kiddos! Tell them I say hi and I appreciate their best wishes-all of them!

    Lola, Thanks so much for your words of encouragement. I will think of my friends and the joy of seeing people and sharing tomorrow. (Kind of like blogging) I probably won't be on here much but will check in when I can and let you all know how it goes.

    Jillybean, Deal. Anytime. And you never know, I may get myself to Georgia one of these days. Skeeter keeps telling me I should come. It is not so far-you cook, I'll bring the flowers, and Skeeter brings her new camera for great pictures!

  13. Good luck and enjoy your friends!

  14. Hi Tina, your tour will be great and everyone will love your gardens. Who wouldn't? They are lovely and lovingly cared for by an enthusiastic gardener. That is the key to a happy life, enthusiasm for whatever you are doing. I can't wait to hear how it went. Be sure and breathe! I will comment on your previous posts here too if that is okay...I loved the why you blog post, so many good reason and so much learned from others. Thanks for the link, BTW. Your front entry does look happy and inviting, it says that a creative person lives there.


  15. Mowed the yard and still watering today. No pop up showers as expected. Tomorrow is another day right.... If I would stop watering, the grass would not need mowing but I like my little Red Rider. LOL. Today as we drove into town I made the comment that it seemed like we lived in Texas again with all the dried up dead looking yards! Lawns are totally parched! People are tending flowers and plants but not the lawn with the restrictions….

    Tina, I hope all is falling into place by now. Slow down so you are not exhausted as tomorrow, you will need some energy to stroll around and chat.... Wish I could be there for the fun....

    Good Luck and Best Wishes!

  16. Don't think Nana was ever on a tour list but I don't think she had tons of flower gardens like you. She seemed to spend more time on veggies, canning and freezing. I know you remember all the floweres there but all in all, I thing the veggie garden was bigger than all the flower gardens put together. She loved eating the year round and sharing with everyone when they were fresh.

  17. I hope you got a little rain today, we did in town. It was a great day for being outside. Do take pictures of the people who come and visit, I think that would be a nice thing to keep.

  18. DP-Should be fun!

    Frances, Very intuitive and encouraging comments on all posts! Glad you liked my cyberworld blog post. It was a pleasure meeting you-in person and on here. I am definitely creative, I haven't yet showed the bowling stuff-but will soon. I am keeping it a secret:o) It will be fun.

    Skeeter, Goodness, it seems too early in the season for brown lawns. What a bummer. We in the southeast are used to green lawns:( I got most stuff done. Still need to get the Jimster up in the morning to help with a few things. I did not finish labeling all the plants. Some, but not all. Maybe that will not be a problem. Just got back from the store to get some snacks. Wish you were here to help Skeeter.

    Mom, I used to work with Nana in the vegetable garden too. I do think it was bigger than her flower gardens. But so many borders with many old fashioned and timeless flowers. Good memories. And she was an excellent cook.

    Sarah, Only sprinkles. Not enough to make everything fresh and nice. But then again, it didn't beat everything down. At least it has been cool. Great weather for June! What a shock to get this weather on the first day of summer. I hope it lasts. Work hard on your kitchen to get it done soon.

  19. thanks for your kind words tina. we'll be heading over there to your beautiful garden shortly. got pic of that black hollyhock if you want me to send it. see ya philnjudie

  20. Send it and I'll add it to my post here!

  21. sent to your email

  22. The Hollyhock fooled me into thinking you had another post! LOL...
    Beautiful plant!

    Have fun today!