Sunday, August 2, 2009

Come See Our Little Acre!


Last year, I was asked by the Van Wert Area Master Gardeners if we would open our gardens and share them with the public. After a little thought, I agreed, and now the time for the walk is here! This Sunday, August 9th, from 12:00 - 5:30, Our Little Acre will be open to the public, along with seven other gardens in the Van Wert area. Tickets are $5 per adult and are available at each of the gardens on the walk. For more information, see the Van Wert Master Gardeners' website.

I haven't done anything any differently in the garden this summer expressly for the garden walk. No new beds, no major changes in the existing ones, and my plant purchasing was similar to that in past years. I did my usual seed-planting and have tried to keep up with deadheading and weeding. And as in the past two dry summers, I walked around the gardens, tethered to the water hose. All that rain that people have been talking about that they've received this summer? We didn't get it.

So now it's crunch time and I'm freaking out a little bit. How is it that your gardens can look pretty darn good to you until you start looking at them through someone else's eyes? I don't usually stand back and take an overall look at things, critiquing them as I go, but maybe I should.

I can see gangly Wave petunias in the front flower boxes, the Brandywine tomato plant looks anemic (but still producing giant tomatoes), the Brugmansias chose this year not to grow like gangbusters, and I planted the hardy glad corms too close to their neighbors. The 'Dropmore Scarlet' honeysuckle has a horrible case of powdery mildew. So does the Monarda 'Petite Wonder.'

With too little rain and not enough summer heat, most of the annuals that I planted from seed, which should be blooming their heads off, aren't. The espaliered pyracantha on the south side of the pool house which has grown and looked lovely for three years decided to up and die, even after leafing out this spring. I haven't yet decided if I want to espalier something there again or do another thing altogether. In the meantime, the pyracantha remains and I'm open to suggestions for its replacement.

On the other hand, the 'Teddy Bear' sunflowers have begun to bloom and so have the glads. The watermelon has the cutest little babies and the roses out back are full of blooms. The Sweetspire has just begun to bloom and even though the daylilies are mostly done, 'Sunday Gloves' looks like it will be wearing its own on Sunday. 'Frans Hals' just started blooming two days ago and 'El Desperado' just keeps cranking out the flowers.

The grape vines on the arbor look fabulous for being only their second year growing and 'Reliance' and 'Mars' even have a few clusters of grapes. ('Himrod' would have had them too, except the little neighbor girl pulled them all off.)

Plants are like children. You want them to be on their best behavior when you take them out in public. Sometimes they are and sometimes they aren't. While there are some things that are disappointing, there are many more that exceed expectations. This is home gardening and all part of the learning process of it. My garden is a perpetual experiment. While I'll gladly hear compliments on the good, please ask me about the bad and offer advice.

This is what I love about garden walks, whether I'm the walker or the gardener - talking plants and seeds and shrubs and trees. Butterflies and birds and bugs and blooms. My garden is where I most like to be and I'm happy to entertain guests and friends there.

Come join us!


17 comments:

Brooke (CreativeCountryMom) said...

Oh I would love too, but a bit too far I think. I am going to tell you something that I truly believe....they will love your garden, because it is you. It is not something that looks like every other front walk in America. It has been developed over time, and cared for with love. It is just the type of garden I enjoy visiting, which is why I enjoy meeting you online every few days or so. I promise we can chat more this winter, I like you are sooooo busy outside this time of year to blog much. Have fun and know your work is appreciated.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Sure wish I could come see you. It would be delightful to see your garden in its summer glory. Relax. I know what I say is true. It is a gorgeous garden. Everyone will love it.

Aerie-el said...

Your gardens look and sound lovely. Wish I could walk thru them in person. Have a great time and soak in the enjoyment your visitors are certain to have!

Dave said...

It looks great! I liked when you said "my garden is a perpetual experiment." I definitely empathize with that sentiment!

Cindy, My Corner of Katy said...

Kylee, I'm sure your visitors will be so delighted by all the blooming beauty around them, they'll barely notice your areas of concern. We're always our own toughest critics! Hope it's a happy and enjoyable day for you as well as your guests.

Sarah said...

Would love to see your Garden Walk. Your pictures look great. Love the Frans Hals daylily.

I can imagine how stressful it is to have people coming and looking at the garden in an official capacity. Frenzy!! But I'm sure when the day comes people and you will just enjoy it. Have a great day.

Muum said...

ohh! that would be fun to come and see your garden in person. I'll bet it is magnificent.

Garden Lily said...

I hope the garden walk goes well, and the weather cooperates. I wish I could join in, but it's just a little too far.

For the pyracantha, I don't know how established your espalier is, but I think I'd be tempted to use it as a structure to grow a flowering vine over.

All the best for Sunday!

Carolyn gail said...

Fluff up the mulch, Kylee, I'll be there directly :-) heh, heh. Now you know how I felt at Chicago Spring Fling, girlfriend.

Seriously your garden is looking great, despite the lack of rain and the heat.

I know you're a perfectionist but try to relax and enjoy the garden walk. I know your visitors will.

Janet said...

Wish I were closer --I would come in a heartbeat! Every gardener has things they see in their own garden that really stands out when they know someone is coming to see the garden. Your garden is lovely!

JCharlier said...

Take it from someone that shows his garden each year, as well as more than 300 others, visitors look quickly and see only the good. It's great to sit around and receive compliments for a day! Enjoy.

Benjamin Vogt said...

Looks good to me! My monarda look awful--lost almost all their leaves. Guess I'll just cut them to the ground and have bare spots. And my new grape vine has some grapes, but each grape splits then fries. What's going on?

Connie said...

Kylee....I would love to tour your garden, if it were possible!
I see in your first photo, you have Snow-on-the-mountain. My grandma always had this in her flowerbeds, along with Hollyhocks and Bells of Ireland. I have had the worst time getting Snow-on-the-Mountain or Bells of I. to germinate for me! Finally, this year I winter sowed some Snow-on-the-Mountain and got a few plants to germinate. Will keep trying with the Bells of Ireland.

Hope your tour goes well, and your plants all behave. :-)

jodi (bloomingwriter) said...

Oh, Kylee, I wish I could come see your garden...maybe next year, when things are more settled in my life again. I'll be there in spirit, though!

Jeph said...

I bet your place is beautiful in person! And I totally sympathize with you - we had a "mostly local foods" cookout with close to 20 people this past Saturday, many of whom had never seen my yard/garden (which doesn't even COMPARE to yours!). I kept apologizing for things not looking great, pointing out that, yes, I knew there were a bunch of weeds, freaking out that people were seeing my blighty tomatoes, etc...but it's still fun to share the garden with people.

Msrobin said...

Oh how I'd love to take a road trip up to Van Wert tomorrow, but I've got company, and I have to work! Sometime when I'm cruising through Ohio, I'll have to detour over to your direction and see Our Little Acrea. I'm sure your garden looks lovely, it's only our own critical eyes that see the flaws. My son and his wife are here visiting, and I fretted over the garden flaws they might see. But they aren't gardeners, and could care less! Thank goodness.

Barbara said...

In the meantime your garden walk is already past! And I'm sure you've had a lot of interesting guests, fully admiring your flower paradise! There is no need to apologize for plants that didn't flower well, weed that's coming up or other, in our eyes, little negative things. Gardeners are very generous (at least the ones I know), they like to see new gardens, get new ideas and inspirations and have a good talk with garden owner about their common hobby: gardening and plants.

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