The new house and the garden stood up to the inspection by the multitudes yesterday. Well, not quite multitudes but the upstairs porch was certainly crowded for a while last night. The predicted cold front never quite arrived, although the afternoon was overcast and a fine mist fell for about 20 minutes — enough to cool things off a bit but not enough to drive people off of the chairs and bench out in the garden. Mostly though, everyone gathered on the new porch, sitting on the wide steps just as I'd envisioned during all those months of construction.
Here's a view of the garden D took before anyone arrived.
And here's a lovely little succulent Lauren brought me, carried home with her from a recent trip to Los Angeles (next to an agave of unremembered origin and variety, in a pot it's outgrown; I'm afraid I'll never get it out without destroying one or the other, plant or pot).
Of course, despite all my best intentions, I spent most of Sunday rushing around, trying to whip the garden into shape (or at least to camoflage the problem areas). I pulled the raspberry salvia gregii out of the big pot in the front yard, where it has languished since we stopped parking out on the street (once the carport was finished). Since I stopped walking past it every day about the same time it stopped raining, it's gotten more and more bedraggled. I had thought of putting a big bougainvillea into the pot, just for the party, but instead I pulled up one of the larger agave americana pups from the big mama plant (which has recovered some from freeze damage suffered last winter) and stuck it into the pot where it at least looks better than the salvia. I've got the salvia in a pot under the arbor along with the salvia guaranitica "Black and Blue," which I pruned back severely in the hopes of some kind of recovery. Also in the recovery ward are the yellow columbine the foundation crew had to dig up when they were putting in the french drain and the verbascum (I think that's what it is) that I bought several years ago on a trip to the Antique Rose Emporium with Alisa. Maybe with the weather a bit cooler and rain in the forecast they'll all perk up.
I also neatened up the stacks of pots that have found a temporary home under the arbor and managed to wrestle the old hot water heater (such a wonderful garden ornament) a little bit out of sight. I found a varigated agave that someone gave me a few years ago languishing back in the stacks of pots and moved it into the upstairs garden, up on a pedestal in the far back, next to a pot of succulents discovered under the tumbled-down stalks of Turk's cap growing out of the old fireplace.
And then I finally had to stop and sit down for a few minutes before people started arriving.