Last fall they contacted me and wanted to know if we could refer them to a hotel. I insisted they come stay with us. They informed me another couple would be coming with them. I again, insisted they come and stay with us. We have two guest bedrooms and why not? I sent pictures of our house and gardens so they would know they would not be staying in a Grass Shack but rather a modest home that would be neat and clean! A bit of persuading and they agreed to stay with us.
The Saint and I upgraded one bedroom that was not so great at the time. I took away some clutter in the house as well. We also did tons of work in the gardens to give our guests a nice welcome. I know that people in other countries hear a lot of negative things about America and we just wanted to show them that all the stuff you hear on the news is not what "all" America is about. We in return wanted to learn more about England. We have visited England twice but actually having a person in your home, we seem to learn more then just being a tourist in a country.
It was a bit odd to have strangers in our home but remembering how nice this couple was when we met them, the Saint and I both felt like it would work out. To give them a Welcome, The Saint painted a Sign to welcome them to our home. Those of you familiar with British humor, will know John Clease and his wacky adventures running Fawlty Towers. As soon as they saw the sign at the end of our driveway, they knew this was going to be a fun visit! Ah, some times, it is just the little things in life... I picked up fresh Rose's for the dining room table. It only took Sheba 2 days to find them. I caught her in the act and was most upset that she was on the dining room table. That is so off limits to the girls! The Rose's had to be put higher up and now they are opening up for me. They are so beautiful and brighten up the room.
**The above photograph was borrowed from "Google Images" off the Internet. I did not take these pictures nor am I promoting any type of financial gain by using it. I am just borrowing it to show you the winner of the event that keeps our City on the map...
Bubba Watson a former golf player for the University of Georgia won The Masters! It was nice for us to have a Georgia connection (he is actually from Florida) win the competition but our guest were not too happy with how their favorites played. They were happy for us and one of the 4-some had chosen Bubba as a pick in a little cash pool. So all were happy in the end. It was a really good game that went into Sudden Death as it ended in a tie. Bubba was the winner with receiving a huge cash prize and the coveted Green Jacket. The Augusta National Golf Course was missing something this year. Color! Spring came too early and all the thousands of spring plants had already lost their blossoms for the millions of guests that arrived for the event. The year we attended (2008) the place was flowing with beautiful colors. Click HERE to see that post. Of the many Azaleas we have in and around our woods, these two (Above) were a welcome sight to our guests. As we toured them all over town, we spotted a few here and there but nothing as our city is known for during this time of year. On the bright side of things, that pesky pollen was not around either! My Easter Display brighten up the woods a bit.
I hid the wooden eggs I had painted amongst flowers. It was fun creating this display but now time to take it down and get a summer display ready. This was such a Easter to Remember for years to come.The Snowball bush was a big hit with our guest. It had started to turn brown before I had the chance to snap a picture of it. The balls were smaller this year then in years past but more snowballs then ever before! It was stunning and just glowed with the bright sun shining on it.
I just love this bush! It had rained upon their arrival but they insisted on wading through the wet gardens. Recon, Rain does not bother them. Ha...They enjoyed the gardens and spent lots of time strolling about each day taking in all the colors. They were most impressed with all the green in our area. They had left winter in England and found spring in America and that alone should perk anyone up! One in particular, was fascinated with our birds. She was so excited to see the Cardinals, Woodpeckers and just any bird. She became excited over a little sparrow! I had the best time telling her all the names of the birds. It was also fun naming the flowers together. They mostly go by the proper name while I go by the common name. Some of our plants are a bit different then their version of the same plant. We shared in garden talk, family talk and all types of wonderful conversations to include some Royal stories that we are sworn to secret not to share. Hee hee... They were captivated by the beauty of the South with all the trees and lush green. The landscaping in front of housing developments was impressive to them as well. They enjoyed the beauty surrounding our river and lake.
We treated them to dinner each night but one as they insisted on taking us out to dinner. PF Changs was a hit and we were so happy as we were not really sure where to take them for a good experience when millions of visitors are in the area. The evening was perfect! I cooked them mostly Southern foods and they were adventurous to try anything! We grilled hamburgers and made potato salad and baked beans. None of which they had experienced before. I must admit, it was funny to see them eating it with a knife and fork. hee hee. I cooked cubed steak (minute steak) in gravy simmered until you could cut it with a fork. Mashed potatoes with the gravy and green peas. They loved this meal and kept raving about the gravy and meat! They mentioned Hot Dogs so we made them dogs with side fixins of chopped onion, grated cheese and chili for Chili Dogs. They loved the potato chips! We also treated them to Pimento Cheese, Marinated Shrimp, fresh Marinated Olives, Crab Spread and cooked Breakfast each morning! They loved the Bacon. Easter Sunday Dinner was Spiral Ham, Pasta Salad, Black-eyed Peas, Deviled Eggs, Cornbread and Strawberry Short Cake for dessert! They scraped their plates clean with each meal. Only thing left was the hotdog bun on one plate. I got the impression they do not care for American breads much. Don't blame them as the European fresh made daily breads are the best! I made English Muffins at breakfast and they had to laugh as they did not know what they were! Ha ha. We took them to our local ice creamery, Bruster's and they had a fit over the amount of one scoop in a fresh waffle cone. They loved free samples at Costco and went on and on about them. We ended the visit by taking them out for Breakfast as that is not so popular in the UK and they wanted that experience. We chose Cracker Barrel as we thought that would be fun and it was a total hit for them. After our wonderful meal, they had to shop in the store! They just went on and on as to how much food we had for such a small price. I do believe The Saint and I did a wonderful job of showing our guests the better side of our wonderful country and some true Southern Hospitality. They have invited us to visit with them so they can take their turn to show us their country. They presented us with a lovely Tea Pot from England. This is a very nice tea pot of the Queens Diamond Jubilee. We shall cherish it and be most careful when using it.Of course what is tea without biscuits (cookies) and favorite teas! They tossed in a tea towel with famous dates for the Jubilee.A Sycamore wooden bowl hand crafted by a local artisan in their village. We had a most interesting conversation about sycamore trees. I had to get the tree book out to show them our sycamore tree. They are not like the English Sycamore tree. They said they hope this book of their area of England would entice us to come for a visit. I have yet to sit and read this book but am most anxious to check it out. Today after Breakfast, they presented us with a Gift Card to a Garden Center and told us to add something beautiful to the Garden. What wonderful gifts from some great people that 5 days ago, we did not really know! Some times I get brave and do something that some may consider a bit crazy but all I know is that we now have some NEW FRIENDS, In the Garden...
** I am getting the rooms ready for our next company which should arrive on Friday. I so should open up a B&B as I just love this entertaining!
Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team, In the Garden