At right is one of my most cherished flowers, made many summers ago, by my oldest niece, Sarah. One summer, we spent endless hours crafting all manner of flowers, animals and objects out of FIMO. We intended to sell all of our items on the main street of a town near our family cottage, Fort Qu’Appelle. My mum put a stop to that though, so I’ve ended up with a lovely and treasured collection. Sarah’s younger sister, Vanessa, also crafted many objects as well.
I apologise for not having done much blogging for several weeks, since I was busy preparing my garden for the Regina Secret Gardens Tour which was held from 18 July through 20 July. The Tour is a successful fundraiser for a wonderful local modern dance group, New Dance Horizons. It was an exhilarating and fascinating experience. The Tour was well organised and has been a popular summer event in Regina for the past eleven years.
My garden has always been an intensely private space for me and has rarely had more than a handful of people in it at one time. Contemplating strangers wandering about was disconcerting and a bit of an internal struggle.
Several days before the Secret Gardens Tour was to open, the participating gardeners and friends of New Dance Horizons had a pre-tour. It was so much fun getting to know other gardeners and having an opportunity to see their gardens. I anticipated that I would have a chance over the Tour weekend to spend time going through these gardens again.
Little did I know then, that nearly 500 people would visit my garden, beginning last Friday evening. As a night garden on the Tour, I had spent much time arranging to have enough lighting so that the garden would be visible when darkness fell. I was so happy to find Shoji solar lanterns from a Canadian garden supply store. The lanterns were a huge hit, casting beautiful light and shadows in the garden and on the stenciled garage wall. I had help from my friend, Rox, who I dubbed my garden lighting consultant.
I had planned to take many photographs during the weekend, but found that I spent all my time answering questions and having lively discussions with the many gardeners who toured my garden throughout the weekend.
Since the Secret Gardens Tour ended, I have spent most of my time sitting in the garden and enjoying it. Thankfully the Tour was last weekend, since we have since had a torrential rainstorm with hail and the next day, a thunderstorm that partially flooded the basement. The garden is looking somewhat battered, but many of the flowers (above left, the Evolvulus glomeratus ‘Blue Daze’ and, above right, the Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’) are blooming with abandon.
Now I have a renewed appreciation for the amount of time and effort that goes into opening one’s garden for a public tour.