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“LET’S HAVE A GARDEN PARTY THIS YEAR.” It started out as such a simple idea, and something we had talked about for the last few years. Somehow, even though we started each season with good intentions, we always found a reason not to host this event and promised ourselves we would do it the following year “for sure”. The problem was there was always just “one more garden project that needed to be completed” before the big reveal. Well anyone who has a garden knows that a garden is never done and is always a work in progress. That is part of the charm and the frustration of gardening.

It was early spring after a long and cold winter, our perennials were that lovely fresh green of new growth, the ground was warming up, the birds were singing and there was nothing but potential and undoubtedly garden success in front of us. We had worked hard on the garden over the past eight years and it was in good shape, how much work could it possibly be?

Fast forward to the beginning of July. The party is a week away and there are not enough hours in the day to get everything done. We had taken a vacation in England for two weeks despite it being prime gardening season, and had come back with even more ideas of what we could do, but the moat and turrets would have to wait for another day. We also returned to tremendous growth in the garden but not just our plants but the weeds as well! We had so many compost bags at the road filled with weeds the neighbours must have wondered if there would be anything left. I kept telling myself that we are our own harshest critics and that most; if not all of the people attending would be more apt to take a cursory look at the garden, say something nice and pour themselves another drink!

We had told our guests that garden party attire was strongly encouraged but we were not sure how they would interpret this; believe me they did not disappoint. There was a great selection of hats and summer dresses as well. The weather cooperated fully and to our delight our entire grouping of red Asiatic lilies were out in full bloom. We tried our best to not tell anyone they should have seen the garden two weeks ago or go on and on about how nice it would look next month.

The afternoon just flew by and in no time it was once again just the two of us in the garden. Would we do it again? Was it worth the effort? Would it be easier the next time? Let’s just say we will definitely do it again…….will it be an annual event? That remains to be seen, but we already know the next garden project that absolutely must be completed before our next Garden Party and we are planning on working on it this fall!

By: Sue Montgomery, OALA, CSLA