Sunday, July 7, 2013

Flashback . . . Garden Stroll in Flawless Weather

In the run-up to the Provence trip

I wrote this June 13, just one week before I left for the trip, and left it unpublished in draft. I don't remember what happened except time crunch. But it was a lovely day, so I'll give it to you now.

If you would like your  property named or identified, or your name added to a picture of you included here, please leave a note in the COMMENTS section below.

Check List:

þ    Finish Pocket Itinerary/diary for next trip
þ   Finish and mail the Soroptimist newsletter
168 photos from the garden tour to blog about
o Put stuff away in my bedroom closet & cupboard (all evacuated
xxxx during the room addition)
o Make a list of what to do next . . .

I got that pocket itinerary done in time to take it for binding on blistering hot Saturday last. I burned the midnight oil last night on the newsletter and sent if off this morning. So far no reports back of typos or egregious errors. I do want to leave a pristine copy for the files, even though all the recipients may see boo-boos.

Today was Thursday Out, but I'll leave that for another time.

Now I'm ready to face the photos from the garden tour, held last Monday. The garden tour, presented annually by the (surprise) Garden Club, sets up five six venues with beautiful gardens, gathers together a whole lot of women and some men, sends them out in carpools with maps that keep us from all arriving at the same place at the same time, and tells us when to be back for lunch and raffle prizes.

After that blazing Saturday at the quilt show -- on the upper side of 100° -- and a barely cooler Sunday, on Monday that heat wave broke. It couldn't have been more glorious for an event outside and walking around.

Don't panic. I won't be showing you all 168. I take that many pictures so none of the plants will feel slighted, but guess I'll have to risk slighting some here. 

Our first visit was to a residence on a vertical lake-front property. We were directed to park  in front of the garage at road level, then take a steep stairway (or driveway for the mountain goats) down to the house. The house and trees blocked the view of the lake, so we may or may not have been at lakeside. Water coursed down a stream bed and fall beside the stairs. When we got to the bottom, I turned to look upward at the water feature.

I can't even guess how tall the stunning carved bear is, and the cougar coming down the tree is no slouch, either. Asked how they got them in there, the owner said it took two cranes.

That "garage" in the background makes Sister and Brother-in-Law's Garage Mahal look like a doll house. I'm not sure whether the top or middle level is the garage, with the other one being the guest house, and in the bottom is the inside swimming pool.

Our next stop was the Groveland Jail. Last used for jail purposes in the 1950s, it had fallen into the inevitable disrepair of old buildings. You passed it often and didn't even notice it. The Garden Club took it on as a project in 1992 and now it is a beautiful landscaped island of flowers, with picnic tables and benches that tourists might happen upon.

Next we moved on to the town's small high school. I had to pick something up at the high school office earlier in the spring. I'd never been into that part of the campus and I was surrounded by little plantings of flowers. I regretted not having my camera with me at the time and wanted to return. Here was my unexpected chance. The hot weather had pretty well done in any "green" landscaping, but the teacher who works with a small group of students on landscaping projects showed us some of the hardscape they'd been putting in. Guess I'll go back in the spring next year. 

The Timberwolf is the school mascot.

Rustic fencing materials were donated and the kids have
 erected way posts for their favorite destinations.

The waterfall is but a trickle just now.

Now I see why I hadn't published BEFORE. I hadn't finished with writing up the tour.

Next we went to a place that gave me hilltop envy. The property sits atop a hill with views in several directions, but also has lots of flat area -- room to park your RV or do much of your garden in relatively flat spots.

Talkative friendly kitty

"Flower bed"

This is a residence out near the airport. Its gardens feature native and deer-resistant (I hesitate to say deer-proof) plantings. They have a beautifully fenced area for vegetables and deer-tasty ornamentals, but I didn't get a picture that represents it well. They also provided a map and list of all the plantings, which is buried in my room-addition piles of papers for future reference.

The final property is a relatively small  residential corner lot, where its owner has featured "Gardening on a Shoestring."

Have I mentioned that the weather couldn't have been more perfect? Coming on the heels of a long hot spell, it was such a relief, although the hot weather had taken a toll on some of the vegetation. I had a terrific ride with a friend and table-hostess for the table I sat at, who knew here way around to all the locations. She was aided by another friend who read off each stop and address, while I kicked back and took it all in.

After the last house, it was time to go back to headquarters at the Lake Lodge and have a salad lunch, prepared by the Garden Club members, and try to win raffle prizes. There were many tables, all with unique settings provided by the table hostesses. I took a picture of every one, but, alas, could not include them all here. Styles ran from formal to casual, traditional to contemporary, serious to whimsical. I give just a sample in the collage below.

After our rugged morning, we finally get to the eats, er, salad buffet.

þ    168 photos from the garden tour to blog about

As for the other things on the Check List, still pending.

See you soon.


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