– make light work, so the saying goes. I totally agree! I just read a blog post here by veggie garden guru Barbara Damrosch in which she shares a how-to put your houseguests to work in the garden. What a great idea! I can imagine plying my friends with promises of a super refreshing beverage if only that bed over there got weeded and mulched… But would they still want to stay at chez nous? (As it is now, g&ts and pots of tea are doled out with no strings attached.) Nearly every visitor to Blithewold that catches a group of us working says “Can you come weed at my house too?” I always want to say, “Hold your horses – my house first!” When the volunteers are all happily weeding and chatting and planting and chatting and having a tea break and chatting I wonder why I never hear about garden work parties. Just think: like a bookclub or movie group you could meet every month at someone’s house and help them plant a bed, build a wall, weed the back forty or dead head the zinnias. The host could be expected to provide something delicious from the garden or the local pizza place. Sounds ideal, doesn’t it? Or do you prefer a solitary putter? When I work on my own I like not having to worry about being organized. I can shooting-gallery-bear back and forth to the shed for tools and get lost in a catatonic gaze now and then. But on the other hand, when I have help things actually get done!
Today we had many many hands helping at each end of the property. Some of the Deadheads went to the Rose Garden to spiff it up before our annual meeting tomorrow night. I think attendees attention will be stolen from the volunteers’ efforts though by the Clematis ‘Nelly Moser’ that is poised to engulf the Visitor Center and the sublime and luminous Clematis ‘Guernsey Cream’ as well as all the roses that are bursting to bust into bloom.
At this end of the property we motored right through planting more (more! more!) in the new bed. For the record, I am LOVING the new bed. We placed groves of basils (Pistou, Minette, Boxwood, African Blue and Queenette), rivers of Swiss Chard (Flamingo Pink, Vulcan, Oriole Orange, Canary Yellow) and acres of grasses and Dahlias among other things too numerous to mention on this page. And after tea the entire group of Deadheads converged on the Cutting Bed – another layer of which was planted in about 10 minutes. It’s amazing how quickly it all comes together with so many hands to help!
p.s. Remember the plant we weren’t sure was a weed? It’s my new favorite! Turns out it’s Rudbeckia ‘Green Wizard’ finally in bloom (yes, that’s a bloom you betcha) and we planted it on purpose last year.