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Archive for July, 2007

I think most of you would agree that, for the past few weeks, I have been in a flower and garden phase. Well, why not? After all, it is the growing season. So when an article appeared in a local newspaper titled “Blossoms by the Sea” by Rebecca Schoonmaker (The Salem News, Thursday, July 12, 2007) advertising a seaside garden tour in Salem, Massachusetts that was to be presented by the Salem Garden Club and the Women’s Friend Society, I thought, “this sounds likepansiesblog.jpg a great idea!” I know of other seaside communities that have offered similar garden tours and I’ve always wanted to take one of them if, for no other reason than to see what kinds of gardens folks keep in their backyards or behind high fences.

Besides, lately, I’ve been kind of reflecting on the “state” of my own garden. You see, my garden is a little inland, in the country and for many seasons now, I’ve had to deal with everything from a woodchuck that patiently waited for me to weed my garden and tie up my vegetables before devouring my entire garden in less than thirty minutes, to a chipmunk that absolutely would not allow my radishes to even acquire their first set of true leaves. I’ve even had to deal with a female Rose Breasted Grosbeak that had worked her little heart out tugging and gulping down my alpine strawberries, graciously leaving no more than two berries for me to sample during the entire season. And then, this year, you know that azalea of mine that seemed to be making its comeback? Well, heavy rains and high humidity have put an end to that!

So then, what did I expect this garden tour to achieve besides satisfying my curiosity? Well, to be honest, I’m not really sure. Maybe I thought to compare notes; after all, a seaside gardener must deal with different soils than I, a more intense sun and, something I’ve never had to deal with, salt spray. Then again, maybe I expected to get some new ideas, a sort of jolt of inspiration! Whatever it was, instead, I came away feeling a little bit blasé, even a little bit disappointed. Please don’t get me wrong; many of the gardens were beautiful bayviewblog1.jpg and I’ve taken many photos to show here. For example, on one side of the cove, the flowerbeds were small, tiered and well cared for but one was supposed to contain a “gorgeous display of white, yellow, red and apricot colored roses,” (sheet of descriptions provided by presenters) yet nonebayviewblog2.jpg appeared to be in bloom. Some gardens, especially those on the opposite side of the cove, had well manicured lawns that accented shrubbery and perennial flowers. Several of these same gardens had either stairs that gave the covesideblog1.jpg residents access to private beaches or they had private piers to moor their boats. One gardener had set up some beautiful flower and/or fruit laden “props” and she also had a saltwater swimming pool that fills during high tide! covesideblog2.jpgcovesideblog3.jpg I’ll let you know that as I sweltered on that hot and humid weekend, that saltwater pool sure did look inviting! Finally, local musicians provided sweet soft accompaniment, several local art association members displayed their talents, covesideblog5.jpg the folks sponsoring this garden tour provided refreshments as well as a boutique selling gifts and on Sunday, a local historian named Jim McAllister was to give a talk about the Willows history (though I did not attend this part of the covesideblog4.jpg tour). Oh yes, and I mustn’t forget the sunbather of the feathered variety who also enjoyed the garden tour!

Still, I have no excuses nor do I have an explanation for my own feelings. I guess all that I can say is that perhaps my expectations were a bit too high. At any rate, there will be more photos coming!

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Okay! Here are more photos placed in a slideshow. Besides, I really wanted to try out the slideshow feature on my blog! Enjoy!

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