The local garden club came to tour my garden last week, and they could not have been more gracious or more interested. I loved talking about my plants with them, sharing stories of the wildlife that wanders through all our gardens in this part of the state, and sitting on the patio after the tour chatting with experienced gardeners.
I especially loved seeing my own garden through new eyes. No one thought the grass looked horrible (it does), or the bottlebrush buckeyes looked scorched (they are). No one even knew a dead hemlock had previously stood at the back of one garden, or that a diseased baptisia used to be by the patio. It all looked fresh and good to them. Wow.
But guess what happened the day after they left?
The sweet autumn clematis burst into bloom. I can't describe how spicy and heady the fragrance is. How I would have loved to have them all smell that wonderful scent and see those pretty star flowers in abundance.
And this is the vine I thought was dead and gone three times over (trampled by deck construction machinery, smothered by the compost tumbler over it, and then all but one stem eaten to the ground by rabbits). While it is great to see my garden through new eyes experiencing it for the first time, there is something rich about knowing the complicated history of what grows here.
Dahlias that I had laboriously grown from seed all summer refused to open for the garden club visit. Then, after they left, this happened:
It's the only one of half a dozen plants to open so far, but still. Could it not have opened a day or two earlier?
And of course the plumbago on the patio, which had bloomed all summer, petered out in time for the garden visit. But a couple days after, it started up again.
Still, no matter. The people who visited my garden appreciated all that they saw, and they seemed to think the whole place was a testament to fabulous gardening proficiency, which of course it is not. It's bugs, weather, accidental good luck, bad fortune and serial mistakes that are the true gardeners here.
But how nice to be complimented for it.