RECIPE FOR A GARDEN TOUR: Shop ahead, then carefully clean and prep all ingredients and surfaces. Preset sky for sunshine; turn humidity and heat to low. Add the zest of one jumbo pop-up nursery to the driveway. Open gates, and layer on just enough visitors. Yield: A successful June 7 Garden Conservancy Open Day. The highlights:
First, giant thanks to Broken Arrow Nursery for creating the pop-up shop (above–before plant-mad shoppers bought three-quarters of it!); and to Laura Palmer of the Garden Conservancy for helping me get 350ish visitors acclimated–and for managing the national network of several hundred private gardens who open in 30-plus states each year, in the Conservancy’s Open Days program. I’m proud to have participate for about 18 years of the 20 they have been doing it (and am open again August 16 and September 20 this year).
Thanks also to Carol Gracie, whose spring wildflower lecture down the road at the local church was a big hit.
I can’t really capture the in-person experience of touring my hilly, 2.3-acre place for you here, so instead I try to show what people asked about, in the slideshow below. Things like the ultra-fragrant and chaming flowers of the American fringe tree (Chionanthus virginicus, below) that they found along the way on their walkabouts.
HOW THE SLIDESHOW WORKS: Simply hover your cursor over the right side of the first image, and an arrow for navigation will display; use it to move from slide to slide. Note: A few are vertical images (you can tell which by the shape of the thumbnail), so even better with those is to click on the photo, and it will pop up full size on your screen, with its caption beneath. You can also watch the whole slideshow by clicking on the first image, and popping it up onto your screen, and navigate slide to slide from there.