Garden of Envy

Since my blatant disregard for Father’s Day led me to a delightful day of garden hopping, I’ve experienced something that I’ve never felt before: envy.

Oh, who am I kidding? I’m jealous of everyone. This is what I usually look like at Christmas:

Me loving my present but wishing that I could have Ben's present, too.
Me loving my present but wishing that I could have Ben’s present, too.

I am one of the grabbiest people I know. And so, as it often does, envy has driven me to embark on a most outrageous project. I am trying to create a woodland garden like the ones I saw on the garden tour.

I want the aroma of summer sweet flowers wafting in the air as I sit by the vernal pool. I want birdsong and frog song to serenade me as I walk along, my feet luxuriating in the soft, forest floor. I want a place for vignettes and garden gnomes and quirky, flea market finds (like it says in the magazines and on the HGTV shows).

In short, I want a woodland garden worthy of this guy:

BLOG GT Humpty Dumpty close

For the past week and a half, I’ve been clearing brush and digging muck and experimenting with all manner of ways to mutilate and remove skunk cabbage. Here is what I’ve learned:

1. If it grows on a vine, no matter how many leaves it has and regardless of whether or not those leaves are shiny, I am probably violently allergic to it.

2. There comes a time in every poison ivy victim’s life where she will want to sever her afflicted arms and rip her own face off. With extra doses of Benadryl and generous slatherings of hydrocortisone, those impulses will pass, and so they are best not indulged in the heat of passion.

3. Due to the evil nature of muck, no matter how much muck you shovel, there will always be more muck.

4. Dogs don’t like it when you’re on one side of the fence and they’re on the other.

Sarge wants to come too

5. Physical labor is really quite difficult and so if you can hire an 18-year-old football player to help you, you should do that. Thanks, Wyatt!

6. Keep telling your husband that your efforts are for him, for Father’s Day, and he won’t mind at all that the dishes are piling up and the dust bunnies are coming to life inside the house as you ignore them in favor of your outdoor project, which you really know is for this guy:

 BLOG GT Humpty Dumpty close

Enjoy every minute of the heat, the mosquitoes, the poison vines, all of it. Because this is the alternative:

My house

What Do You Mean, Father’s Day is Not for Me?

Well, it’s Father’s Day weekend and Ben has five baseball games, so what better time to go off and enjoy a little “Me” time? It may seem strange (okay, I’ll say it, self-absorbed) for me to indulge in some alone time, but there was a garden tour open house in town this weekend, and when you see the pictures, you’ll understand why I had to do it.

Gargoyles! I want them.

Look, it’s gargoyles! Who would miss a chance to tour someone’s adorably landscaped property where there are actual gargoyles? Get real. No one would. Certainly not me.

BLOG GT fairy house I want it

And there were fairy houses. Fairy houses! As if I could sit still watching 45 innings of baseball knowing that there were fairy houses (fairy houses!) just waiting for me to visit.

Oh, but wait there’s more! There were vignettes. Darling, little, al fresco vignettes, I tell you! Look at them. Aren’t they too much?

BLOG GT blue vignette I want itBLOG GT red chairs in pretty light

And more vignettes, with out(door) charm. (Did you see what I did there?)

BLOG GT out(door) at Alyce Pedder'sBLOG GT out(door) vignette I have to have it

And there were Japanese maples . . .

BLOG GT Japanese maple at Alyce Pedder's

BLOG GT 100 year old rhubarb plant

and 100-year-old rhubarb plants.

Not to mention flowers. There were roses and some other flowers. (I’m new at this, so I don’t know all the plants by their names. Actually, even when I’ve been doing this for a while, I’m pretty sure I still won’t know their names.) And the flowers were arranged in my favorite color combination: yellow and purple, for flowers that is, not for fashion. You should never wear yellow and purple out in public. That won’t look nice. But for some reason, it looks pretty in a garden, wouldn’t you say?

BLOG GT roses at Jackie Marro's I want themBLOG GT purple and yellow is too pretty

BLOG GT wild strawberriesAnd there were were walking trails and vegetable gardens and grape arbors and cute garden gnomes and miles and miles (okay, yards and yards) of wild strawberries.

BLOG GT hospitalityAnd visitors were offered  iced tea with honey (from the bee hives right on the property) and cookies. Delicious hospitality. So, I am terribly sorry (notsorry) that I took a little “Me” time (okay, a lot) when I should have been mothering the kids so Joe could enjoy some Father’s Day free time.  But he got to come with me to one of the properties.

Doesn’t he look like he’s having fun? BLOG GT Joe hanging out with me

And if you’re still not convinced that I did the right thing taking by taking the time to enjoy the garden tour, I leave you with these last two pictures to persuade you. I believe they need no explanation:

Yes, this is Alice in Wonderland in the garden. I just can't even.
Yes, this is Alice in Wonderland in the garden. I just can’t even.
No, you're not imagining things. That is Humpty Dumpty on that wall. Isn't he fantastic?
No, you’re not imagining things. That is Humpty Dumpty on that wall. Isn’t he fantastic?

So, go ahead and judge me, but you know you can’t blame me. A girl has to do what a girl has to do.