Sunday, July 11, 2010
A Pot of Tea, A Garden Walk, A Plant Discovered With Friends to Talk
My new friend, Carol, from May Dreams Gardens was the one who I first heard refer to the Garden Blogger Meeting in Buffalo as "Summer Camp". Yep, we were quite the campers tromping through the rain to all our fun activities (looking at gardens) and walking the mile or so to the mess hall (the 2oth Century Club- every society gal's dream of a mess hall). And there will be lots of stories and pictures of the riot of color and garden passion that I was witness to. So here a few highlights of the event, which wonderfully was as much about the new friendships as it was about gardening and blogging.
One of the best kept secrets in the gardening blogger world are our moms, grandmoms, dads, etc, who have been the impetus for our gardening passion. Louise, who is mom to Kylee from Our Little Acre, came along with Kylee and delighted us with her rich gardening legacy. She also posed for me so you could see just how HUMONGOUS the hostas are up there. There's a theory that some top secret chemical lab is nearby and the neighbors are using this lab's garbage as compost...
Now, twitter folk get a lot of ribbing about "talking with folks that you don't even know" but every once in a while you hear about the way twitter has brought folks together. I have been able to witness the evolution of a fun new gardening blog/business venture as the friendship between twitter friends Kylee, Jan, and Lisa grew through shared twitter chats of gardening, Jane Austen novels, and lots of subsequent phone calls. They formed their venture, Soil Sisters, several months ago, but only met in person this last Thursday night, as captured in this photo.
Along the garden walks we sometimes got to meet the homeowners, which opened up a whole new window of information. I enjoyed talking to Mark who lives on North Pearl in Buffalo. He is a clever man whose taste for using the ordinary to make the extraordinary was a good example of creative recycling. He made his own rain barrel out of a trash can and an outdoor faucet that he bought at the hardware store. Rather than just collecting rain water, he collects the water that comes out of his indoor faucets when he's running the faucet to get hot water, then pours it in this barrel. He said he often gets as much as 6 gallons a day.
Speaking of rain barrels, one excuse I've heard from people who don't want to get one is that they are so ugly. Doesn't take much but a few artistic moments to take care of that problems...
Tea with Hosta experts Mike Shadrack and Kathy Guest Shadrack at their woodland retreat home bordered on being a Jane Austen-like tea party. Quiet creeks, rich scones, shady garden paths, and even barefoot garden gals cooling off in the creek made for a delightful few hours. The Soil Sisters ventured in for some toe dipping while Cobra Head princess, Anneliese, went wondering back up the creek- bringing back to me many childhood memories of creek explorations.
The gardens were fabulous, and as with most things that touch our hearts, the beauty was enriched because it was shared with friends.