19 June 2011

Catching up, with an Invitation

It's been quite a while since I posted here, but I think the reasoning is pretty obvious to most fellow gardeners. June in Nova Scotia has been almost as cranky as May was, weather-speaking, and we have to garden when the sun shines, so to speak. Since I decided to increase the size of some of my beds this year, it's meant a lot of extra work, often during less than pleasant gardening weather--either too cold, too hot, or too wet!
As many of my readers know, I've felt a bit like Hank Williams lately..."I've been everywhere"...while on my book promotion tour and the garden club speaking circuit. I'd like to extend yet another bouquet of thanks and appreciation to all those who have come out to the various events, bought books, swapped stories, and been just the fantastic gardening buddies that you all are. It's been a hectic, rewarding spring and I'm honoured by all your support and friendship.

Now it's my turn to give back, or in this case, pay it forward.
My friend Captain Dick Steele passed away in March of 2010, to the sorrow of many, many friends and fellow plant aficionados. Captain Steele was fondly known as Mr. Rhododendron for his passion for these handsome landscape plants, and he spent many years breeding hardy varieties for our climate. Dick was a founding member of the Atlantic Rhododendron & Horticultural Society, and there has been a scholarship endowment set up in his name at my alma mater, the Nova Scotia Agricultural College.
Being a self-employed writer and sorta-photographer, I'm not exactly what you'd call well off. However, I do have a rather large and rambunctious garden, which is ever-expanding because I test so many plants here. I have no idea just exactly how many plants we have in the numerous beds around the property--I should count them but it might scare me! Especially as there are about 50 still waiting to be planted. And that doesn't include the annuals in containers.
So what I'm doing to help raise awareness and funds for the Captain Steele Endowment is holding an Open Garden weekend at our property on July 1, 2, & 3, 11 am-5 pm daily. Admission will be by free-will donation, with all proceeds going to the Endowment fund. I'll have some milkweed plants to give away courtesy of my friend Rob Baldwin's nursery, some of my own plants for a free-will donation, and some books for sale, too.
Yes, that's a puddle from the monsoon we had last night and this morning. Gardening here can be entertaining...
I've stressed before: our property is not the perfect sort of display you'll see at a public garden, or at someone's property that has landscapers designing and/or maintaining it. We do everything here ourselves, and as I noted above, I test a lot of things here to see how they'll do, including plants from Proven Winners, from local nurseries such as Baldwin's and Bunchberry Nurseries. But it's a happy, lush garden, with a lot of focus on pollinator-friendly plants, handsome foliage plants, winter interest, native plants...something for pretty much everyone.
The weather here in Scotts Bay can be highly capricious. Today, for example, we had a bombastic thunderstorm roll through with heavy rain and a bit of hail; then it partially cleared, was sunny in the front yard while more moody clouds rolled up the Bay of Fundy. So while it might be hot and sunny in Halifax--or down in Canning, or two miles up the road--during the July 1st weekend, we're never sure what it might be like here, so please bring foul weather gear if coming to visit that weekend.
For a few more details, including how to get here, please check out the dedicated page here on our Open Garden weekend. I'll relink to it if I do more posts before July 1st, but given the pile of work still needing doing here...there might not be another post til after that! So if you're interested in seeing what it's like to garden on the Bay of Fundy, and contribute to a great cause...we'll look forward to seeing you!

28 comments:

  1. Hi Jodi, As a former "Bluenoser", I can't think of a more pleasant way to spend a summer day than at a Bay of Fundy garden. Alas, it is bit far for me these days. Instead I will be sending positive vibes your way for some sunshiney weather for all your lucky visitors. Have fun!

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  2. A lovely way to honour your friend, Jodi. I would love to come to your open house if I can fit it in. Thanks for these brilliant pictures and today's article in the Herald about butterfly gardens, too. I swear if there is anyone with a shot at ever turning me into a gardener, it's you.

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  3. Your garden has always intrigued me. I wish that I lived close enough to come tour your garden, buy a book and honor your friend. A wonderful way to do it too.

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  4. I so liked you positive outlook when you said "gardening can be entertaining" when you referred to the puddle from the rain storm. Great outlook! We all needed that this Spring and early Summer. Weather was not friendly here either as was the same with you on the Bay of Fundy. I'll think of that comment "entertaining" more often. Jack

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  5. Hi, Jodi! It sounds like you have definitely been busy these days. I understand about the weather, it has been like that here too. Your gardens do look happy and lush! Hope your garden tour goes well.

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  6. The gardens look great. I am truly sorry about your friend. He sounds like an interesting person. Wish I had met him. You sound busy. Don't forget to relax and wander through the gardens with a cup of coffee and enjoy your labors.

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  7. This is a wonderful idea, Jodi. So hoping Brian and I will be able to make it. Keeping my fingers crossed. If we're not there you can be sure we'll be thinking of you and will be anxious to read all about it. :)

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  8. Oh what an 'entertaining' day it has been here today weather wise. We too had the black sky all out thunderstorm followed by blasting hot sun and then yet another couple of thuderstorms. I'm quite excited to hear your garden is open for viewing. We have been talking about a trip off island and were thinking of going to Nova Scotia for a few days. hmmm, just have to convince hubby that visiting a garden is fun. Will get back to you whether I can talk him into it!

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  9. Dear Jodi, I will be sending 'good weather' thoughts your way on the days of your open house. It is a beautiful thing you are doing, and how I wish I lived near enough to attend. You have a wonderful garden and a wonderful 'gardening life'. P. x

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  10. What a beautiful garden you have! Some day I will visit the east coast. Your garden looks so lush. Good luck on the garden day. I know how much work that is.

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  11. I love your garden ! I think a drive to visit your Fundy garden is the perfect way to celebrate the July 1 weekend.

    What a wonderful way to honour your friend !

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  12. Jodi,
    How about you just send some of that extra rain my way?

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  13. Hi Jodi,

    Sending wishes for better weather, seems like you have gotten the brunt of the bad.

    Your garden looks wonderful.

    Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

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  14. Rich or not, with much to share, you have an amazing life, dear Jodi. Happy Summer :)

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  15. I do wish I were heading to Nova Scotia in July! If I were, I'd definitely be looking up directions to your house. Your visitors are in for a real treat, Jodi. Good luck with the open house; I'll keep my fingers crossed that the sun gods will shine on you that weekend.

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  16. Hoping to (finally!) see you sometime that weekend! Looking forward to it. :)

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  17. I have been waiting for you to have an open house day forever. I am a plant collector too, and hope I can make it to the event. I have heard so many great things about Captain Steele from so many people. I regret I never had the honour of meeting him.
    I just hope I don't see too many new "must-haves" at your place.
    Best of luck.

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  18. I lost a dear friend this past month also. You have my condolences. As for the garden and blogging, life sometimes intrudes but the sun will shine and the plants will continue to grow and bloom. This we can count on. Be well and enjoy the day.

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  19. What a lovely way to honor a friend. I've also just lost a batchmate and friend from breast cancer metastasizing to bone cancer. She had been an inspiration for the batchmates as she has a happy disposition and strong faith despite the pain. Your garden is lush despite the close plantings. Ours we call a biodiversity garden because there is no order at all.

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  20. I just love, love your gardening blog.

    I,too, wish I live closer and come and see your gorgeous garden.

    Thanks for sharing all this beauty with us.
    Poutine

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  21. I love your garden ! I think a drive to visit your Fundy garden is the perfect way to celebrate the July 1 weekend.

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  22. Coming in a bit late, but I wanted to wish you (and the Endowment!) all the best for a financially successful weekend.

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  23. Hope it all goes well. Your gardens are amazing, and I'm sure the guests will be enthralled!

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  24. Hi from TX, Jodi.
    Your gardens look just beautiful to me.
    I know what you are talking about when you said, you have worked in your garden in not gardening friendly weather. It's been rather extremely gardening unfriendly weather down here in TX too, just in another way than up there in your area.
    We are dealing with the longest drought I ever could remember of since I'm living down here (more than 20 years) and the hottest Spring / early summer we ever had.

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  25. Hi Jodi - your gardens look lovely. Your knowledge and creativity drives a beautiful garden. Hope you are having a wonderful weekend. Last year we had 5 hailstorms. This year we have been spared, hope it continues, hugs, Gloria

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  26. Jodi, I am just visiting your garden for the first time. I love the way you describe it: a happy garden. We share a love of Echinaceas and difficult growing conditions, especially the weather: mostly hot and dry, sometimes blasted with hail, too much rain, not enough winter moisture--thats Colorado. We have a saying around here when we don't like the weather: Wait 15 minutes, it'll change. You have amazing narrative and beautiful photos. I'll surely return. I've never been to Nova Scotia, and likely will not get to visit there, so I will come to know you.

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  27. I am in love with your blog. I love the creativity, the ingenuity, inspiration. Congrats. Kisses

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  28. It's astonishing you are able to grow anything in your climate / weather. Well, I know plants grow even in places which are frozen for much of the year. Right plant, right place etc. Even so, you do have enormous variety and, as you say, a great number. It's surprising how much fits in a small space when one makes a list so in a large one . . .

    Hope your open garden goes well.

    Esther

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