Thomas Carlyle said those title words. I repeat them to myself every time I’m faced with deadlines, burgeoning schedules or demanding responsibilities. Right now, I’m feeling the pressure of my impending Open Day. Its the final stretch and I’m hoping to deliver a diamond.
Nothing like getting galvanized into action when you know visitors are expected. I’m pretty sure that at some point everybody has scrambled to get the house looking decent before the arrival of guests. A less than presentable space is probably the number two reason why the unexpected knock on the door is not appreciated. Number one being a less than presentable self.
Unlike the house where clutter can be cleared and hidden in a closet or bedroom, there is no place to hide in a garden. Particularly a garden that will be thoroughly examined. For gardeners, as in every creative endeavor, it is exciting to be able to show their work. Like a parent, we have that burning need for our “child” to dazzle and amaze. A garden that impresses translates to a gardener who is brilliant. Who doesn’t want to be perceived as such?
Thankfully, all the tasks that need doing are those that would get done anyway. It is merely that instead of a pace like a long-distance run, one is now sprinting. So I’m working fast. I’m not saying I’m doing it better. Just faster. The upside to all this is that I will have some well earned leisure time later. Something that gardeners often do not get to indulge in.
The daffodils are almost done and the tulips are coming into their prime. A very disarming sight. Other bulbs are waiting in the wings. I am hoping they are in bloom for open day. The Amelanchier and the pears are in frothy white. Plenty of other perennials are getting ready to put on a show. I absolutely adore this moment in the garden. The thrill of anticipation gives me such a high.
Of course, preparing for a public opening involves some additional things but after several years of experience, one takes it in stride. The main factor to contend with is the weather. What the winter did to the garden, if the days leading to the open day are favorable for gardening and finally of course hoping for fair conditions on the big day itself. Weather is the double-edged knife that keeps the gardener company and the gardener has absolutely no influence on it. The relationship is completely one-sided.
Given good weather, I thoroughly enjoy open day. It is so much fun to meet friends who come to show support and wander around comfortably. New friendships get forged here as well. Questions are asked, discussions ensue, experiences are shared and before one knows it, kindred spirits are recognized and embraced. In general, those who visit gardens are doing so for pleasure and inspiration. They do not come with intent to criticize or look down. That said, it does behoove the gardener to do her part to have her garden look its best.
And so, back to the garden I go. A diamond in the rough will simply not do.
I’m not adding any photos this week because I want you to come and see my garden for yourself!
Addendum – Just in time for Mothers Day, graduation, summer party invites, hostess gifts, notes to campers … Notecards of my botanical watercolors will be for sale.
I might even have some young plants available.
The New Castle Chamber of Commerce is getting in on the day and several local businesses are offering special deals to those who visit my garden. Such fun!
Do please come!
For directions and other information go to www.gardenconservancy.org/opendays
(c) 2014 Shobha Vanchiswar