Plano's first and my garden's first landscape tour was last Saturday. I am not sure anyone knew what to expect. Based on the turn out and response received to my garden, I think the tour went well. At least 243 people passed through my garden during the six hours the tour was open and more continued to stop or drive by for the next couple of hours. Somewhere around 3:20, the doorbell rang and a woman that said she had a late start wanted to ask questions and look around. I was exhausted after being outside in the heat since 7:00 AM and I was hungry. I declined as politely as possible and directed her to this blog. While I was turning her away, another couple walked up. I told them they could look around, but I was going inside because I was tired and hungry.
Here I am speaking about asparagus or drip irrigation or squash bugs or something. I have no clue. It was a crazy day. This photo was taken by my co-worker, Elaine, sometime around 11:30. I started placing plant tags around the garden an hour before the tour officially began and I was still carrying the last handful that I picked up as people started coming into the garden. Up until a few minutes before this photo was taken, I was without my hat, sunglasses and water. I thought I would have had an opportunity to go back inside before this time, but I was answering questions non-stop from the time the first visitor arrived. At one point, I just had to excuse myself and run inside.
The volunteers and several visitors thanked me for having the plant tags. I thought they would be a good idea since most of my plants would be unknown to most of the visitors. By the way, thanks to the three Live Green in Plano volunteers that helped answer questions. I would have been in trouble without you.
The next photos were taken as the sun was setting on tour day. I had hoped to get a few pictures while the tour was taking place, but it was just too busy. As I mentioned, visitors had a lot of questions. Often, I would be in the middle of answering one question when someone else would come up and ask another. My apologies if I did not get everyone's questions answered fully. I tried.
I think the most asked question of the day had to be "How old is that cactus?" Everyone was surprised that it is only about six years old. I spoke to a couple of people that said they read the blog, but nobody ever mentioned my comment in a post where I said I would give a cactus pad to the first three people that asked for one. Since no one was asking for them, I started offering them to people that expressed an interest in the cactus.
Another subject of many questions, comments and photos was the horsetail reed growing in a stock tank in the front yard. There may be more stock tanks showing up in Plano in the future.
All of my homeless plants that still need to find a place in the soil were clustered in a corner.
I was surprised that there was so much interest in my Wooly Pipevine. The leaves are not especially attractive once they mature and are chewed on by pipevine swallowtail butterfly caterpillars. Most of the caterpillars had crawled away to pupate and I had an opportunity to point out the pupa to a few visitors. There was one caterpillar munching away that attracted much attention. One visitor thought I was joking when I called this a pipevine since it was growing on a copper pipe trellis.
I am happy to say the garden came through the tour relatively unscathed and a lot of people learned a little about some unfamiliar plants and a different approach to landscaping. More people will have an opportunity to see and learn from my garden in the future as I was asked to participate in tours for two gardening clubs. Maybe the landscape standard in Plano is beginning to change.