06 July 2011

Heartfelt thanks to EVERYONE who came out (well, almost)

I'm back! Amazingly, after the assorted cold, wet weather we had in May and June, I didn't expect we'd have three fantastic days for our Open Garden event. But we did! The sun shone, it was warm (and at times, downright HOT) from  the time we started on Friday until the last car left late Sunday afternoon.

There was plenty to see, from the drifts of perennials like 'Lola' astrantia,
The roses all popped on cue, providing colour and fragrance (this photo was taken in the fog on Monday evening!).

As always, the gardens are rich with foliage colour and texture as well as flowers, so there was something to look at everywhere.
What's amusing, however, is that I was so busy that I didn't take a single picture all weekend! And things were slightly complicated by the fact that I went into the weekend with a cold, which blew up in my throat and turned into full-scale laryngitis...so that Saturday I had NO voice for a good part of the day, and Sunday I was pretty squeaky. I'm still squeaky now, actually, if you want to know the truth.
My friend Tony Coakley of Borealis Horticultural Services did an amazing job last week building the low retaining wall around the front entry beds, and then he and his crew donated some time to edging and weeding as their contribution to this fundraiser for Captain Steele's scholarship.
People liked the variety of beds, and the whimsical surprises here and there around the garden, like LSS's grandfather's old wheelbarrow with containers of annuals in it.
And that we do a lot of vertical gardening, with climbers such as honeysuckles and clematis, as well as planting and planning for birds and pollinators.
Many people said they were encouraged by our garden, which I make very clear to everyone is not perfect nor finished. Our visitors liked the shade garden under the spruce trees, and that I'm unphased by chew marks in the hostas or a few weeds growing here and there. I posted a sign saying we had no weeds, only pollinator plants. Many said they would use that rationalization too, which is terrific.
A friend of mine reported a comment she heard from a critical woman who never has anything good to say about anyone else. "I've seen better gardens," this woman apparently sneered.

Of COURSE she has! I don't set this up to be some perfect planting. This is my garden, and I do it the way I like it, which is different from what others may do. I figure that all gardens are awesome provided they are loved. And as long as people take joy from gardening, and aren't discouraged, that is all that matters to me. That's part of the reason I opened my garden, along with raising funds for the scholarship--to show people what's possible, and that a garden doesn't need to be perfect to be happy and healthy.

The young couple, both recovering from cancer treatments, who told me they were encouraged by my blog and articles when they were unable to garden? THEY made me cry, and encouraged ME in so many ways. I felt so hugely honoured to have them visit.
All in all, it was an exhausting but satisfying three days, and I have major bouquets of heartfelt thanks to offer up to the following:

Carol Goodwin, good friend and NSAC professor, who was here for Friday and Saturday all day, helping with questions;
Rob Baldwin of Baldwin's Nurseries, who provided plants to give away and/or sell as part of the event, as well as providing many awesome plants for my gardens over the years;
Tony Coakley of Borealis Horticultural in Avonport (no website yet), who brought his team and his considerable talents to help prepare for visitors;
Seaboost Joe of Seaboost Products, who donated two cases of liquid Seaboost to sell as part of the fundraiser;
My book publisher, Nimbus of Halifax, who helped out with preparing for this event and who are such great people to work with;
LongSuffering Spouse, who tormented me about losing my voice but helped in countless ways all weekend, as he always does;
All the visitors, even those who didn't donate or who thought it was a yard sale...we hope you enjoyed a little glimpse of blooming happiness, and that it encouraged fellow gardeners;
and of course, our late friend Captain Steele, who was a mentor to so many, and continues to be so even though he's gone.


  1. I'm glad your show went well and that the weather turned nice.

  2. Your garden is so lovely I cannot imagine anyone saying anything negative. Some people!

  3. What a wonderful thing to do. I know how much work it is to have an open garden. Whenever anyone looked askance at some weeds or grasses in my garden, I made sure to get in first with "don't you just love mu ornamental grasses??" That used to stop them in their tracks.

    Happy gardening and do get over that laryngitis quickly.

  4. And thanks to the sneering lady who helped make this a most entertaining post.

    Your garden is lovely and I like your sign telling of no weeds, only pollinator plants. It is a good way of looking at them. Plus, too, a tear for the recovering cancer patients, I was moved.

  5. I like your new retaining walls. It is funny, I have never been to your garden but have seen pictures of your front door so many times I knew that it was new. Thanks for taking us around your garden too. I enjoyed the overall pictures. I am glad the event went well and you got some positive feedback. Too bad your voice decided to have a vacation that weekend.

  6. congratulations on you tour. you cant keep all the people happy any of the time.

  7. I'm so glad you had good weather for the event, Jodi! I've always loved your garden - it's my kind of garden, too - and I know others were thrilled to be able to see it. One day, I hope to see it in person, too. Sorry about your cold and laryngitis. I hope you're feeling much better now! Hugs to you for all you do for the gardening (and garden writing) community.

  8. Thank you all for your comments! Kylee, I sure hope you make it up here one of these days, too!
    Lisa, that goes for you as well--okay, yes, of course it goes for all my faithful friends, fellow bloggers and plant nuts--you'll also all be amused to know I am still pretty darn hoarse. Can't talk much, which is cracking up the ol' Long Suffering Spouse.

  9. We very much enjoyed your garden, Jodi. And your bathroom wasn't so bad either..lol Kids, can't take them anywhere.

    This was a wonderful thing for you to have done and for a worthy cause. Three days--I'm sure I would have been totally bushed. Hope you're soon on the mend.

  10. It was a real treat to see your garden in the flesh! Your relaxed and, in my opinion, entirely sensible attitude to "weeds" is encouraging to any gardener, as it was to my perfectionist mom that day!
    I returned to my tiny city garden with renewed enthusiasm.


  11. Ohhh... i missed the tour. I didn't know it was going on. is there another one later in the year?

  12. Hi Jodi, what a generous act, to open your garden to the public for such a great cause. It looks fantastic too!! :)

  13. Jodi, I'm so glad to hear that the weather cooperated. Everything is looking beautiful. I'm totally smitten with Astrantia Lola and am adding it to my wish list. -Jean

  14. Gosh, it sure looks perfect to me! Especially the photo of the Roses in the fog. Enchanting!

  15. Your garden is situated in the most amazing spot...I won't ever think of Scotts Bay without thinking of our visit on Saturday. What an enjoyable day.

    Regarding the endowment set up in Memory of Capt. Steele ...the college (and committee) must be so pleased with your open garden generosity. What a great way to honor his life and contribution.

    Thanks for sharing! (a whole weekend was a truly generous gift).

  16. I'm very sorry I missed this event. Looks like it turned out extremely well with plenty of happy people who got to enjoy some beautiful plants.

  17. How NICE of you to open your garden to visitors. Would that I lived nearer!!

    Everything looks wonderful (methinks someone is jealous!). lol

  18. That late photo of roses in the fog-- haunting. And THAT is one of my favorite adjectives and I don't get to use it very often so thanks. Wonderful gardens.

  19. I really loved seeing your garden and your landscape. That area is the home of my ancestors who came to Port-Royal from France circa 1607. It's wonderful to see it in your blog and I hope to visit it myself someday. Thanks!

  20. Beautiful Astrantia...I will have to keep an eye out for that variety!!!


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