thank goodness it’s not in our garden.
Our eldest son is to be married this weekend in the garden of the Airlie Conference Center in Warrenton, a fine old formal garden considerably more appropriate for a wedding than my jungle. Since our home is only a few miles away, I’m certain that we’ll have out-of-town guests drop by, so the wife has been scurrying about preparing the inside. I’ve taken the hint (I’m not a total idiot), and done a bit of clean up in the garden.
I’m usually quite content to have a pile of nursery pots stuffed under the hydrangea, to have hoses I rarely use scattered about, but not this week. All that will be gone. Not that the garden is manicured, far from it!
But I think that it will do quite nicely. We’re not in the full blooming glory of May, but there will be plenty of interest for anyone who cares to browse about. Franklinia and Seven Son trees are still in bloom, though past their peak, and the blue hydrangeas have begun their Fall blooming cycle with the cooler temperatures we’ve had the past couple weeks. My wife will be cutting hydrangea flowers as centerpieces for the rehearsal dinner, so, though there are eight or ten plants, they might all be stripped bare. The large white blooms of the pannicled hydrangeas have faded a bit, but still show well.
The gathering point in the garden is usually the stone patio and pavilion (above) near the swimming pond. Japanese anemones, sunflowers, asters (at bottom of page), salvias, Snow Fairy variegated and yellow leafed Jason and Worcester Gold caryopteris, and four or five flavors of coneflowers and several of toad lily (at top) bloom nearby. The tropical elephant ears (left), bananas, and cannas (below) are at their lush peak, and I’ve brought to the back large tubs of variegated ginger, and Fuchsia and others in bloom that have been stashed for the Summer near the shady front pond.
I’ll gather some dead sticks (there is quite an abundant supply), and find a log or two to fill the firepit since guests seem to like it, even on the warmest evenings.
The rear lawn is struggling, to put it kindly, and visitors to the garden must cross it. A creature of some sort has been digging in the bare spots, probably after grubs, so there are craters scattered throughout the lawn, then a variety of creeping weeds that I have no interest in eliminating, unless the purpose is to turn the lawn to garden. My wife prefers some lawn, and has put a halt to expanding the garden further, so if guests are horrified at the sight or sink ankle deep in a muddy gopher hole, it will be her fault.
I’m quite happy not to be father of the bride. The stress level is high enough on our side of the aisle (though I’ve been assigned only to show up, and perhaps dance at the reception if I can’t feign some injury). With luck I’ll be able to avoid trouble and escape without much screaming about what an insensitive cretin I am. I’ve been practicing being agreeable, quite a change, I’m not sure I like it.