Blogger Visitors, In The Garden

(Written May 19, 2008)

An exciting event is happening today. A fellow Tennessee blogger, Tina from
In The Garden, her husband and son are stopping by Faire Garden on their way to visit relatives in North Carolina. An elevated heartbeat and nervous energy are driving a frantic look around the house and garden in preparation for their arrival. She is bringing plants.

Shown above, rosa Carefree Sunshine, a Mother’s Day gift from Brokenbeat.

Her visit comes with plenty of advance notice, so why does the house look like a tornado hit? Where did all those cobwebs come from? Who warmed the chili in the microwave without a cover? Where did all this cat hair come from? (Okay, that answer is known.) Why are there papers all over two desks? Where are the organizational skills we preach to the offspring about? Why are there so many questions in this paragraph?

Let’s go out into the garden and try to calm ourselves. We feel more confident about the way that looks. After all, several hours a day, nearly every day are spent working out there, paying attention to detail, snatching out invading weeds, smelling the roses. We are between major bloom periods right at the moment. The azaleas, dianthus and iris have gone by. The roses look good though. Veilchenblau, Veil of Blue, a climber, is nearly fully open.
This once blooming beauty is draped over the shed. The recent wind storms blew it off the roof, we used a rake to push it back up to the top. Let’s hope for gentle breezes only today.

Heavy fog this morning has given the garden a magical atmosphere. The view is from under the garage deck looking toward the east, where the hidden arbor stands sentinel as it waits for the sun to rise.
Stipa grass and nigella buds are covered with the liquid air. Where did all these weeds come from? How did we miss all those spent flower heads? The roses need pruning, the small lawn of grass needs mowing, and where did all these weeds come from? Okay, take some deep cleansing breaths. The weeds only jump out to the gardener’s eyes, visitors will see only the flowers.
The morning light is creating an other worldly appearance with the heavy fog and mists everywhere as we cast a critical eye on the inhabitants outside. The recent rain has beat down a few things, maybe they will perk up later. The penstemon ‘Husker Red’ is at its peak.

Rosa ‘About Face’
Tina has come and gone now. She, her husband and son were charming and friendly. We were like long lost friends, talking non stop about plants, blogging and family. Mostly about plants. We walked the garden tour and she took a couple of pictures. I was so excited that my camera sat on the table inside the house during her entire visit. It wasn’t until she had left that it was realized not a single photo had been taken of her and her traveling companions. Let it be known that they were lovely and nice.

Make that extremely nice, for Tina brought, in addition to plants, this concrete plaque that she had made for the garden. I love it. Thanks so much, Tina, for being wonderful and coming so far out of your way to visit us. Y’all come back now, y’hear!


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35 Responses to Blogger Visitors, In The Garden

  1. Sylvia says:

    How lovely to have nice visitors who really appreciate your garden. I hope your fairies approve of the plaque – I think it is lovely.

    The pictures of your garden in the fog is wonderful, you must be really pleased with them and the spiders web. I could go on – thank you for sharing your garden with us.

    Best wishes Sylvia (England)

  2. Frances, says:

    Hi Sylvia, the fairies were on their best behaviour, although they want to know why they have not been posted about for a while. That will have to be remedied soon. The fog was amazing, so glad some shots were taken of it with enough light to not use the flash. It was gone within an hour. Thanks for those sweet words, music to my ears.

  3. Layanee says:

    I have to agree with Sylvia. Your fog pictures are magical and who really cares what the house looks like as long as there is a garden bench to sit on and plants to talk about! Aren’t bloggers the best! I say that although I have yet to entertain any in my garden. Want to be the first! The plaque is a beauty and so nicely organic looking for the garden. Can’t wait to see the mossy growth envelop and age it.

  4. Gail says:

    Your garden looks fantastic Frances, even between big bloom time.

    Now let’s go directly to the photos! They are wonderful, the fog and early dew!!! AND, You have the shot I am always hoping for… Charlote’s web before she spun her messages! Perfect!

    I do want to get over to see you and garden, soon! The next weeks are filled with out of town guest…they don’t garden, can you imagine? How am going to manage our time so I can garden!


  5. Dave says:

    Very nice pictures Frances! I’m sure Tina had a great time over there. You’ll have to share what new additions you have for your garden!

  6. Diana says:

    Your fog is magical – and so great that you were able to capture it in a great photo to share it with us. Glad you had a nice visit and what a lovely gift they brought you. I know firsthand from the Fling how nice blogging guests are — like you!

  7. Frances, says:

    Hi Layanee, I would love to see your garden. Especially when it is stinking hot here and cool there! Thanks for the idea for the moss, I ran right out and rubbed some on the new plaque, next it will get sprayed with fish emulsion, that really grows the moss on everything. Thanks for the kind words.

    Hi Gail, I feel your pain. We had company Thurs and fri, gardeners Brokenbeat and Mashley, but you can’t really get down and dirty like you need to with company. Then out of town sat and sun, then more guests. All fun but behind on the gardening. I just came in from working and was dripping wet, it is so humid. Got to beat that heat, but even gardening at first light, like I always do, it still is too hot by mid day. We will make time to see each other’s gardens this summer, for sure. Thanks for those kind words too.

  8. Frances, says:

    Hi Dave, thanks for reminding me before I forget the names of what she brought. Powis Castle artemesia, feverfew, Regina heuchera and helianthus maximillian, not sure about the spelling on that one, and of course the wonderful plaque. Everything is now in the ground, needs watering. I gave her wooly yarrow, japanese painted fern, euphorbia dulci ‘Chameleon’ and maybe something else, can’t recall, hope she can! Now we need to meet you and have a big shindig at Gail’s! HA

    Hi Diana, you are so right about how wonderful the garden bloggers are, I want to meet them all! Thanks for the kind words about the photos, it was lucky timing for sure.

  9. walk2write says:

    Fog in a garden doesn’t obscure anything. It only softens the edges of things and lends an air of mystery to them. Do you have any edibles in your garden to share with your guests? Although I don’t have any vegetables growing right now, I like to snip a few herbs and add them to salads, omelets, casseroles, etc., when we have company.

  10. tina says:

    Frances, I hate to break the news, but as lovely as the garden was, YOU were the highlight and the garden was just the supporting cast. Finally getting to meet you was for me the huge bonus.Talking to people on the Internet each day and learning what is important to them in their gardens, and knowing we all have this connection to living things, is what I think life is all about. The people are really the gardens and a bit of vice versa. Meeting you was the best part, truly. The bloggers at the spring fling know this too. We could easily have talked all day and then some! I wished we had had more time, but sigh, you know how it is.

    I am glad I did not see this post prior to my visiting, because it may have persuaded me one way or another, but I did truly love that blue rose and all was in perfect order-including your beautiful house! And very clean!!!! Don’t come visit my house without many weeks of notice!

    Mr. Fix-it and the Jimster were extremely impressed and glad to have come too. You gave me many wonderful plants! Also a chrysanthemum, blue fescue, and Matrona sedum. I also gave you golden oregano and I know they are doing well with your green hands! Take care! And thanks for allowing us to come and meet you! I’d love to come again as I know the garden changes so much-and the door is always open to you in the garden in Clarksville!

  11. tina says:

    I forgot to say, it was a pleasure meeting Gardoctor and hearing about all of your children who comment on here too-hi all!

  12. gintoino says:

    Isn’t it great to finally meet the people behind the blogs we read daily? It is as if you reencouter a friend you haven’t seen for a while.
    I have to tell you I just can’t stop looking at your garden pictures, they are soooo lovely. And I couldn’t spot a weed… 😉

  13. Crafty Gardener says:

    Magical pictures of the garden in the fog. Where were the fairies? I bet they will be admiring the new plaque, it is gorgeous. I’m glad your visit went well and everyone enjoyed the garden. Why do we worry so much when visitors are coming? and why do we wish the visit wasn’t over so soon?

  14. Frances, says:

    Hi Walk2write, I did try and push some of my sugar snap peas that are growing into giants onto them, but they had just eaten, HA. It was supposed to be a very short visit, as they were mid trip to visit relatives, but we got to talking and time got away from us. It was wonderful.

    Hi Tina, you are too funny. Luckily you know what was dug from the garden, because I don’t! It was a pleasure to meet you and your group too. You are welcome anytime.

  15. Frances, says:

    Hi Gintoino, thanks for those thoughtful words. You are so right, meeting the garden bloggers is the best.

    Hi Crafty, You have hit the nail on the head, why worry about stuff no one cares about? It may just be nervous energy and the anticipation of meeting someone for the first time. As soon as they arrived, the weeds and webs were forgotten. The fairies love the new plaque and are a little miffed that they have not been written about lately. That will be remedied soon. Thanks for stopping by.

  16. Catherine says:

    Gorgeous,Gorgeous,Gorgeous!!~ Your
    flowers, garden, & captures of them~simply gorgeous~and magical!! But, it’s not just the fog that makes your garden look so magical, I think it always looks that way!!

    How wonderful to have a blogging buddy & her family visit your beautiful garden, & wonderful the plaque she made for you!
    Glad you enjoyed your visit!

  17. Frances, says:

    Wow Catherine, what glowing words, thank you so much! It was wonderful to meet Tina and her guys, we could have talked for days, even though it was our first meeting. Thanks for visiting.

  18. Mr. McGregor's Daughter says:

    If it’s a nice day when visitors come, just don’t let them in the house. ;^D The fog photos are dreamy. Your Husker’s Red Penstemon’s flowers look a lot more pink than mine, more’s the pity. I really like the pink flowers with the red stems.

  19. Frances, says:

    Hi MMD, thanks. I will save you some seed from those huskers. The original plant was in a bed with penstemon sour grapes and red rocks. I have been selecting out the seedlings with the pinker flowers, as I like them better also, so can collect the ripe seed this fall for you.

  20. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    Frances, you were so lucky to have a garden visitor and to receive such a beautiful gift.

    Your garden was enhanced with the fog. It truly looked like a faire garden.

  21. Frances, says:

    Hi Lisa, yes, lucky is what we are here, in so many ways. The fog that day was wondrous. The stuff of dreams. Thanks for stopping by.

  22. Annie in Austin says:

    The garden in the fog is a wonderful photo, Frances – and congratulations to both you and Tina for breaking through the blog-wall to meet each other.

    As our friends get older there’s an easy way to make sure that specks of dust won’t be seen by the guest and unexpected wrinkles on that guest won’t be noticed by the hostess…take off the trifocals and see the world with softer edges 😉

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  23. Lola says:

    Frances, your garden is lovely. I love the pics with fog–always thought that added to the surroundings.
    I’m glad you & Tina had a good visit. I knew you would. You both are so sweet & caring & I enjoy reading about your gardens.

  24. WiseAcre says:

    Funny how expecting visitors can tie your stomach in knots and how easily they untangle your worries once they arrive.

    What a great set of photos. The fog really does make your gardens look magical.

    I love the roof rose. I have a Clematis that does much the same but I think the rose looks better.

  25. Pam/Digging says:

    Your dewy garden is magical looking, Frances. It’s wonderful that you’re meeting several more garden bloggers post-Spring Fling. The plaque she made for you is a great gift–so personal.

    And boy am I impressed that you spend several hours a day every day in your garden! No wonder your garden looks so great! I hope some of that time is spent in relaxation under your beautiful new arbor.

  26. Frances, says:

    Hi Annie, HA, that technique is already employed here by the eyesight challenged residents, if we can’t see it, it doesn’t bother us, until company is coming. That is when closer inspection reveals that which was hidden. Tina and I had a wonderful visit, it was a beautiful day after the fog, no wind, perfect temps. It was great. Thanks for stopping by.

    Hi Lola, thanks. Tina was indeed very sweet, we really hit it off.

    Hi Wiseacre,thanks, you are exactly right about the stomach thing, it was fine as soon as she arrived. The shed holds a clematis, white Candida that died to the ground in last year’s frost and drought, but is regrowing from the roots.

    Hi Pam, thanks, meeting bloggers is all good, after the fling, we look forward to meeting as many as possible. The hours spent in the garden include many down in the dirt, and some strolling and inspecting, a favorite way to spend time. I do sit some, but always see something that needs a closer look, and usually begin to just pull a few weeds. Yesterday the Financier came home from work and I was still out looking at things, didn’t even realize what time it was. Time does stop in the garden!

  27. Ewa says:

    Dear Frances,
    As all the blooms look magnificent, I will not comment them 🙂 The rose, the climber on the shed – that picture looks sooooo sweet – and the pot hanging looks very surprising and great at the same time 🙂
    I love especially also the picture from under garage deck, when the garden looks fairy and misty…

  28. mss @ Zanthan Gardens says:

    I love the magical look of fog in your garden. It looks so cool and inviting and mysterious.

    The Veilchenblau climbing rose is fantastic. Looks just like a rose in a catalog photo.

  29. Frances, says:

    Hi Ewa, it was a short lived magical moment in the garden for sure. The rose performed well for company. Thanks for stopping by.

    Hi MSS, I wish we had that fog every morning, but the drivers on the highway do not. We are in a heavy fog zone where there are flashing lights on the interstate to close the road if it gets too bad. Veilchenblau, I love to say it Vale-ken-blow, heavy accent on the blow! Thanks for visiting.

  30. Christopher C. NC says:

    There may need to be a new Mousie category, the Blogger Butterfly award for the most social garden blogger who meets the most other garden bloggers. Lucky you Frances, getting to show off your gorgeous garden in person.

  31. Rose says:

    Frances, I could so relate to the first part of this post. But anyone coming to your home, especially a fellow gardening blogger, would be so entranced by your magical (you chose the right word!) garden they’d never notice anything amiss in the house.

  32. Titania says:

    Frances you have a beautiful garden I don’t want to leave there is so much to admire. I love the Lilliums and actually everything even the silly, pink mophead, it looks really cute, I would give it a fair go, as we say here. I can grow only the very tall christmas lillies, I love them and as you say, lillies look divine as cut flowers in tall vases.

  33. Frances, says:

    Hi Christopher, it was a thrill to show the garden to a fellow blogger in person, different than showing it to friends and family, as you probably know. Did you see our visit was in the Garden Rant gossip column? How funny it that!

    Hi Rose, thanks for those kind words. We get few non family visitors here, so the housekeeping is not up to par most of the time. It was all about the garden though, you are right.

    Hi Titania, thanks. The peonies will get a fair go, since they are doing fine where they are. The floppiness can be ignored, but the blooms were down on the ground, I had to dig them out of the foliage to even see them. I do love all the lilies. too.

  34. Salix Tree says:

    I loved this post! From frantic to calm.. made me smile. The foggy photos are just breathtaking! Pure magic.
    If I ever come to visit your garden (very doubtful, but one never knows), don’t worry for one millisecond about weeds and spent flower heads. We all have them, and sometimes they add to the magic of it all! After all, it is still part of nature, and nature has many wonders.

  35. Frances, says:

    Hi Salix Tree, glad to see you back. Thanks for the kind words, and the info that the mystery plant in the gravel post is indeed lamb’s lettuce. Hooray, a useful wildflower, not a bad weed!

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