Monday, July 2, 2012

Gardens-Peacefulness to Panic!

The Gig Harbor Garden Tour Association really outdid themselves this weekend, by presenting the most wonderful selection of gardens since this writer has been attending the tour, and by raising thousands of dollars for local literacy programs. What a pleasure and a privilege to be able to volunteer a few hours of one's time for such a worthy cause, and then to be rewarded by being given a ticket to tour all of the gardens on the tour.
These two volunteers are having fun checking tickets!
 This years garden collection included bountiful borders, sweeping views of Puget Sound, an elaborate estate, and a homestead farm. The gardener homeowners were as interesting and diverse as the gardens they tend,  and they seemed to be enjoying sharing their gardens as much as the visitors, who thronged non-stop for two solid days.
The sound of running water makes a garden feel anchored to the space.
What is it that attracts us to roam through anothers property? To explore every nook and cranny, gaze on plant combinations, ooh and ahh over flowerbeds and water features and peek into greenhouses? Is it an exhaulted form of voyerism for which we have permission? Is it self flaggelation knowing that our gardens aren't quite as beautiful or interesting? Setting off from my own home and garden the morning of the tour, I cast an approving eye over my puny plantings, while thinking things don't look too bad, considering where I started.  Returning home in the afternoon, I am as deflated as last weeks party balloon... I see weeds everywhere, flowers that need dead-heading, the lack of "bones" that give a garden structure, and a general accidental messiness rather than intended orderliness.
Just can't get gardening out of my head!
My crazy friend Denise was a docent at a very special garden on Sunday, and when I lamented the limited success of my own gardening efforts, she reminded me that garden tours are "research" which leads to finding solutions for our own shortcomings as gardeners.
What a classy potting bench! Built out of old fence wood!
In anycase, there are many worse ways to spend a couple of days than wandering around little snippets of paradise with an old friend. The gardens this year brought pleasure to the eye, peacefulness to the heart, and left my mind reeling.
Gardening connects us through our hearts.
Of course, some of the dreadful confusion and feelings of inadequacy can be salved by buying things, and the committee did an excellent job of supplying ample opportunity for that activity, also. There is nothing to raise the spirit like buying new plants- lots of plants, garden ornaments, tools, and even a pair of earrings... Well, afterall,  one does need to look her best when tending the garden!
Nothing like a few new plants to bring home as souveniers of the Garden Tour!
(No, I did't buy all of these... just a few of them)!