Thursday, June 15, 2006

Gardening on paper

The next two weeks will be a whirlwind tour of some of the best gardens in Buffalo, as I frantically finish all the interviews required for the Garden Walk project. Truth be told, the word “finish” is being used rather creatively here, but I’ll get it done. Then the photographer and videographers do their thing. As usual, the writer gets screwed with the earliest deadline.

I’m loving the gardens though. This is the time for roses, peonies, clematis, campanula, foxgloves, and, well, roses: the early, fresh colors and scents of June. I reveled in some heavenly deutzia and mock orange while talking to Lucinda today.

Many of the gardeners on the Walk have always complained that it takes place too late in the season, and they have a point. If you don’t have heavy-duty annuals going and some late summer perennials (lilies are the best), you'd better have amazing design and some waterworks. I have little patience with such bitching though. Late July in Buffalo pretty much assures us of decent weather and it’s less busy, social calendar-wise, than June.

What I will bitch about is this: As I sit with my little notepad, inhaling the beauties of other gardens and politely listening to them brag about their outdoor dining pavilions, their rare pink dogwoods, and their man-eating koi, I know that, back home at the GWI property, weeds are slowly enveloping my treasured shades-of-pink rambler, that the gap near the side door has yet to be filled, and that if I don’t get going on the front annual beds, I’ll never find any of the plants I need.

All I can do is come home and look around in the half hour of light remaining, which has its own rewards, such as—oh joy!—the realization that, after three years, the front rhodos are finally in bloom (above).


Blackswamp_Girl said...

In the dusky last half hour of daylight... it should at least be harder to see any weeds cropping up between the flowers. :) Good luck getting your paperwork done!

firefly said...

Man-eating koi??


I guess I'll stick to squirrel feeders!

LostRoses said...

I love this blog! I'm no great shakes at gardening but I kill my fair share of plants trying. We're in the midst of garden tour season here in Colorado too, though nothing on the scale of Garden Walk.

Your comment on having to make up a nice description of a garden without any input from the owners probably accounts for one we toured last week. Or maybe it was wishful thinking on the gardener's part! I was really looking forward to seeing "distinct rooms in the garden, including an aspen grove, the nursery, the spring garden, the summer garden, the wildflower garden, the enclosed lawn, the patio garden", etc., etc. What we actually saw was a 20x20 foot area including a weedy patch of lawn with an aspen tree on the perimeter and a few annuals plunked in around the edges. The heap of discarded plant containers must have been the nursery!

We had a great laugh over it once we were safely out of sight, and now I understand how that description came about. Good luck getting yours written. Love those garden tours!