I Went to a Garden Party….

AAUW Garden Tour

Saturday was the AAUW Garden Tour.  What a glorious day.  I expected about a hundred visitors, and made 120 handouts.  Sometime in the early afternoon I guess they ran out, and I didn’t know about it for awhile.  I made 25 more for the last two hours, and have five left.  One of the docents said that some had been turned back in during the morning.  Every couple probably took just one… wow, that’s a lot of people.

I’d been talking to the garden all week, asking the blooming plants to hold that thought for a few more days, and encouraging the nonblooming ones to get a move on.  The plants did what I asked!  There were so many flowers out Saturday, it was amazing.  Heirloom roses, Gideon’s Trumpet, ranunculus, herbs, wildflowers, and waterlilies.  The garden, apparently, also was also all for proof in advertising, as in standing behind the NWF Habitat sign on the front gate.  So many kinds of butterflies and dragonflies were out for the first time this year that people remarked on it.  In the afternoon, there were sightings of a king snake all over the property; I think it had to have been three kingsnakes. One was moved from the refreshment area, but he came back, and then as I was standing by the pond talking to some ladies one came past us.  Another was sighted up in the driveway. Roger sighted a gopher snake.  No one shrieked or complained; either these were hardy people, or the idea that this was a habitat yard made them keep calm.  It also backed up my claims of letting snakes deal with gophers and rodents!  One man spotted a baby bunny under the Withy Hide bench.  By one o’clock, it was funny.  It was as if a button had been pressed to turn the garden on, and all the features were working!  What a glorious day.

Jacob (Aquascape Associates) and Roger (landscape architect) and I answered questions for most of the day; the last four visitors left at four.  So many people asked questions about permaculture, soil, beekeeping, cob ovens and rain catchment that I know that I couldn’t answer everyone’s questions.  Of course there were some who like a tidy, orderly garden, and that is fine.  If everyone came away with some idea how to work with nature rather against it, to use chemicals less, to grow organic food, to repurpose, to compost their kitchen waste and weeds, then what a lot of small ripples of good will come of it.

Thank you to my dear friends who helped prepare the garden so that it looked stunning.  And thank you to the snakes, butterflies, bees, dragonflies, birds, bunnies and who-knows-what-else that came out to perform for the visitors!  And thank you to everyone who visited!  No casualities; all good.

Here are some photos, although my camera doesn’t do the colors justice:

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