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Sunday, August 1, 2010

House Beautiful - At Least For Company

What is it about having people over that suddenly transforms me into a cleaning, decorating, landscaping, and cooking machine? I mean, come on, I spend time on the couch under the fan, but it's not like I'm a total slob. My garden is in pretty good shape. I have food in the house. The dust bunnies aren't bigger than the cat.

And yet I am in frenzy.

Of course the cause of all this is my hosting a Master Gardener event next spring where perfect strangers will be looking at my yard. That doesn't really frighten me, but it's all those Master Gardeners that intimidate me into a puddle. These people know their stuff and I have to be ready! Of course they are perfectly nice people and are always kind to me. I have nothing to worry about.


I've been in sort of a paralysis, a kind of summer doldrums, trying to get my ideas solidified so I can finish up the back yard. I haven't laid all the bark down and I need to configure some sort of pavers in the paths. All of those examples I have clipped out of Fine Gardening and Horticulture seem just too elegant (and expensive) for what I need.

Lucky for me, I've gotten a nudge. I was able to come home a little early on Friday and spent some time with my neighbor. Cindy is very artistic and has such an eye for things. She has pavers, plants, and all sorts of objects in her garden that are arranged so artfully. I dragged her across the street (don't worry, she left with cucumbers and cantaloupe) to throw some ideas at her. We had a good discussion and I gained a little direction. Then on Saturday I spent the morning with another group of gardeners. We talked about landscaping and various gardens that had recently been visited and I became so inspired by the conversations that a couple hours later I was looking at rock.

I think I know how I'm going to finish everything now. Today I worked on the last ditch in the backyard and moved the compost bin. I've budgeted out what I need for bark and patio pavers. I've got Ed working on an arbor. Everything is in motion.

So in a frenzy I go, trying to get everything in its place. I don't know why I do this; I guess it's out of fear of rejection or something. I'd spend time on the couch trying to analyze it, but I've got a garden to get ready!


  1. Yes, it can be intimidating to have fellow gardeners over. But actually I find it always goes just fine. They know to overlook the weeds (because everyone has weeds) and be open to the bigger vision. And hey, since it's not until next spring, you still have time to lie under the fan for a while yet.

  2. There's nothing like a garden tour to get you busy with plans in the garden or visitors to get you cleaning up the house. All gardeners know that keeping up a garden is no easy job. How exciting for you to be hosting the spring tour. I'll be there.

  3. Love seeing your sedge lawn coming in, it looks so lush!

  4. Hi Tina - I am very pleased with my sedge. It is performing like a rock star in the shade and I haven't watered it all year. It has an interesting texture and has only grown about 6 inches tall (the grass stems flop over.) I threw out a little cottonseed meal in late spring and then again last month while it was raining. It's really responded well. The clumps have expanded in diameter and I think the whole area will be completely filled in next year. People in the neighborhood have responded positively and think I'm on to something - no mowing!