Sunday, July 22, 2007

Garden Tour

Saturday was so busy, I didn't even get time to sit down at my computer and post a blog. Some days are that way and I was happy it was such a nice day to spend outside (a day I will remember fondly once January gets here!)

Neighbor Scott stopped by Saturday afternoon with an ice cream tub full of green beans, a plastic grocery bag full of beets and this beautiful bouquest of gladiola flowers. (I've never had gladiolas in my garden, because I'm too lazy to dig the bulbs up for winter, but I do think they're a very pretty flower.)

I will be spending some time this afternoon cleaning and cutting the beets and beans to prepare them for freezing. Does anyone have any good beet recipes (besides pickles)?

Now, on to the garden tour. The Rochester Flower and Garden Club has this tour every summer on the third Thursday in July. You pay $10 per carload and there are at least 4 garden stops to visit from 4:00-8:30 PM. I've wanted to go for years, but my schedule in previous jobs never worked out. This year my birding friends (and former WBU co-workers) invited me to go with them. I paid for the map and ticket and they did the driving. It was a great time and the tour concludes with an ice cream social.

While I was waiting for my friends to arrive home from work I "sat a spell" in their backyard and admired their gardens (they are both Master Gardeners and have some really nice flower gardens in their yard).

Front Yard

Back Yard

It was an interesting tour. I look at some of these gardens and they just seemed kind of "over the top" for someone like me (the average, somewhat lazy gardener). The most impressive garden belonged to a woman who has spent the last couple years clearing buckthorn out of her wooded lot with a backyard that angles steeply down to a ravine. She's a "hosta enthusiast" and has over 500 varieties in her 0.87 acre lot. (She also does not work outside the home and has a "gardener".....)

She also had gargoyles!

Every one of the gardens had a water feature.

From average.....

To again what I would consider "over-the-top"

There were also some "whimsical" sights:

Willow Heart Trellis (I also took this picture because I'd like to try and make a trellis like this)

Giant acorn hiding behind an oak tree

Little fishing boy about to catch a goldfish

Muskrats peeking out of the lily pond

"Fish on a stick" look like they're actually swimming with the leafy background

Some of the flowers I thought were noteworthy:

Three large, beautiful trumpet vines growing alongside a garage

I've never seen dayliles this lovely orange-gold color (almost like a marigold color)

Anise Hyssop (I couldn't identify the plant, but thought it looked like a cat-mint leaf, so I rubbed a leaf between my fingers and it had a yummy spearmint/licorice scent!)

Fabulous dahlias (again, another plant that requires extra care to survive our harsh zone 4 winters)

Black hollyhocks (I loved this color!)

I know I should have split this post into 2 parts, because it got kind of long, but since I'm already 2 days behind, I decided to put everything in today. Hope you enjoyed the tour. Thanks for coming along.


Jayne said...

Wow... how very pretty these gardens were! The master gardner has a "gardener!" What a hoot! You'd have to in order to be able to keep that much planted area look anything but weedy! Thanks for taking us along Ruthie. :c)

Trixie said...

I loved the tour. And I had no idea there are black hollyhocks. WOW! It reminds me of the chocolate lily.

MOM said...

Thanks for the garden tour, this was a real treat for DAD & I. There are a few beautiful gardens around here, Beatrice E., Darlene E., Elaine S., hers is around the house to just name a few. I sure wouldn't mind to look at a few more. There are some who have blogs longer then yours, everyone has so much to say and they are so varied for sure. There are blogs from coast to coast and north to south and even some foreign places places. I am so glad I taught myself how to use the computer, I would be missing so much otherwise.

Mary C said...

Hi Ruthie - that sure looks like catmint to me! We have catmint in our front yard around our roses. A couple of our neighbor cats like to lie in it - and we like giving a couple leaves to our cats once in awhile. That sure is a neat trellis. I'd love growing my morning glories on it. And that little fishing boy was cute. I think I'd like to have one of those is I should ever get a pond put in our backyard. Thanks for the tour.

Larry said...

Nice tour-Some times I try to get gardeners to visit my yard and give me advice.-They gave me some good tips about peparing soil.

KGMom said...

Lovely garden tour--so kind of you to take us along. I agree--the black hollyhock is spectacular.

RuthieJ said...

Hi Jayne,
All of the gardens were really nice and I bet those homeowners spent a lot of time weeding and watering last week making sure everything looked fabulous for this tour.

Hi Trixie & Donna,
I would love to have some hollyhocks, but it's too windy at my place. Wouldn't this black one look pretty mixed in with some of the dark red ones also?

Hi Mom,
You can ask Beatrice E. about the garden tour because I saw her on the tour with Barb and Sally (I don't think she recognized me with a hat on).
I'm glad you're getting up to speed on the computer stuff also. Isn't it amazing everything we've learned through blogging this year?

Hi Mary C.
I thought it was catmint too, but the plant seemed so much taller than mine--I'm glad I took the opportunity to rub a leaf and inquire with my gardening friends what this plant was. The fishing boy was made of wood (I think the husband of this gardener has a woodworking shop).

Hi Larry,
Good for you--learning new things to make your gardens better! All gardeners I've met are more than happy to share their knowledge--especially when someone really wants to make their own garden better.

LauraHinNJ said...

Thanks for the tour!

Love the whimsical things you found - gardens give a real sense of the person who tends them (or who they hire to tend them!)


RuthieJ said...

Hi Laura,
I didn't get any pictures, but one of the gardeners was a frog collector. She had cute little frog sculptures tucked in the gardens all over the place--I bet she was a fun person because her garden said "fun" to me.

Jennifer said...

Wow, what a cool garden tour. I love gardens... too bad I hate gardening... And now for the beet recipe:

Borscht: (my favorite soup)
dice the following veggies in whatever quantities and amounts and proportions seem best to you. (I usually do approximately equal amounts of each. I often saute the onion and celery in a little oil first, then dump everything else in.) Cover with water and cook until the veggies are soft. Optional: blend a few cups of the soup and return it to the pot to make the broth seem creamier. Season it with salt, pepper and caraway seeds, maybe some thyme. Serve it with a dollop of sour cream sprinkled with dill or chives...



Mary said...

I love gargoyles. What a nice day out and I'm glad you posted all of the photos at once :o) Don't worry about being "behind" in posting. We'll be here...

RuthieJ said...

Hi Jennifer,
Thanks for the recipe--sounds good and best of all--easy!

Hi Mary,
I thought the gargoyles were pretty cool too and they were BIG. Both of them were almost 4 feet high and solid concrete.
Thanks for sticking with me!

mon@rch said...

Garden tours are soo much fun! Well worth all the work that goes into them for sure!

RuthieJ said...

Hi Tom,
You're right about them being fun. I got lots of good ideas, now all I need is a little more ambition....