Monday, April 23, 2007

Visitors and then some

On Saturday ninety people descended on our newly expanded house and garden for our 11th annual spring party. (Question: If we skipped last year because of the construction is it still the 11th annual or should it be called something else?)

And then on Sunday seven Austin garden bloggers arrived as part of a progressive garden tour of five of our gardens (R. Sorrell's of The Great Experiment, Annie's of The Transplantable Rose, my garden, M. Sinclair Steven's of Zanthan Gardens, and Pam's of Digging) plus a walk-through of the beautiful and inspiring garden of Austin-based garden designer and writer Jill Nokes.

Both Saturday and Sunday were overcast, misty days — the sun peeking through from time to time — with highs in the 70s, perfect for showing off a garden. All the buds and blooms were rimed with dampness, nothing was droopy or blasted by the sun. Having old friends in the garden on Saturday was wonderful and then having seven Austin gardeners — and bloggers — visit on Sunday was the most attention this garden and gardener have ever known.

This morning I got up and found a wonderful description of the experience on Zanthan Gardens' site. Like MSS, I worried all week — what would be in bloom, would Climbing Pinkie continue looking glorious, might the buds of the zexmenia or the winecups open in time. And then I was so astonished by the variety and beauty of all the gardens that, when it came my time to act the host, I forgot to worry. I forgot to ask any of the questions or request any of the advice that I had thought about beforehand. And then, all too soon, we were off to the next stop on the tour.

The afternoon sped by, the names and scents of roses — oh, such magnificent roses — a delicious confusion. Last night, after six hours of touring and talking, I lay on the couch in my sitting room, my garden in darkness outside. I should have gone to bed but I wanted to take just a few more minutes to remember the woodland meadow and the rose-covered picket fence, the mystery roses and the brilliant yellow and black caterpillers on a volunteer fennel. I wanted to hold onto the rush of words and the images and scents and textures of plants — clematis and sweet peas, lilies and coneflowers, agave and iris — for just a few minutes longer.


Annie in Austin said...

We did a lot of inhaling, didn't we, Susan - it was interesting to realize how much our group gravitates toward fragrant plants.
I loved your garden.


Carol said...

I'm thinking about how hard you must have worked to have your garden ready for TWO days of viewing. Hope everything bloomed on queue. April must be THE month for gardens in Austin.

Robin said...

I've been wondering why you haven't posted in the last few days, now I know. I'm sure you were quite busy preparing for your weekend. Sounds like it was a success.

Susan said...

Annie — It was great fun, wasn't it? I'm looking forward to seeing everyone's gardens as they grow.

Carol & Robin — I do get in a tizzy every spring getting the garden ready for its big day (two days this year!) but over the years I've gotten less anxious about making each bit perfect (although the pressure of the garden bloggers' visit was a bit different than the usual partygoers!).

Carol, it is true that April is the month, at least for my garden. I used to put things in just for that April moment (an overdeveloped need for applause during the annual party, I suppose) but I hope I've moved past that a bit.

And, Robin, I'm still intending to write a post about what I've figured out about my digital camera.

Thanks for visiting.

Pam/Digging said...

I thought I'd left a comment yesterday, Susan, but I guess I forgot. In any case, I had a great time in your garden and loved your color combinations and Texas-y look. Great munchies too!

Yolanda Elizabet said...

I know the feeling Susan, we all want our gardens to be perfect when there's visitors coming, especially if they are all gardeners like yourself. I've read several posts on this special day for Austin Blogger gardeners and it seems it was a great hit with everybody. Are you going to turn it into an annual event?

It's great fun isn't it, to visit so many lovely private gardens in one day.

Susan said...

Yolanda Elizabet — We did talk about making this an annual or even twice yearly event (maybe spring and fall to see the gardens at different times of year). I just wished I'd had a bit more time to ask questions, both about the other gardens and for advice about my own.

M Sinclair Stevens (Austin) said...

You didn't have to worry either, everything in your garden looked great. I can't believe that you had a big party the day before. If it had been me, both my house and I would have been total wrecks. Not you, though. Wow. It was great fun. Eventually I'll get around to posting the cheesecake recipe. It's really easy.

Susan said...

I'm waiting for that cheesecake recipe. I think I talked as much about that as I did about the gardens when I got home! And I just wish I had space enough to have the expanse of flowers that you have in your back yard. Maybe my front yard? Hmmm . . .

Dawn said...

You have a lovely garden, Susan. The addition to your home flows perfectly with your garden rooms. The colors and scents add to the peaceful spirit you've created. Thanks so much for inviting me to see the beauty you've created.