Don’t you pity the poor sap that has to perform after the prodigy or crowd favorite? I can just imagine the horror welling up inside such a person as the perfect act goes on and on, getting better and better. No, I take it back, I don’t have to imagine it. I have now lived it. Last Thursday, I toured a delightful private oasis on the Anchorage hillside and realized, to my dismay, that I had to follow this act.
This lovely spread was part of the Alaska Botanical Garden’s Secret Garden Series, an annual fundraiser that visits some of the best tended, designed, and beloved gardens in the Anchorage area. (The Last Frontier Gardener is blowing her own horn yet again. My garden is beloved, anyway.) So after taking a virtual stroll with me through some of the vignettes at this ponderosa, see if you don’t feel just a bit sorry for me…onward!
My first groan of affliction was at the sight of this arbor on the front of the house. The wood is as smooth as a baby’s bottom, I checked. My arbor (in the backyard, thankfully, so somewhat hidden) is a claptrap affair: fading stain, splinters, and treated wood posts. For those that do not dwell in our fair state, arbors of this quality are almost never seen. To be truthful, arbors of any quality are pretty unusual. After recovering movement in my limbs, I headed to the side yard where…
I was treated to the sight of the best looking workshop in the whole state. (I know it’s the workshop and not another residence because over the door, a sign reads “workshop.”) I showed this picture to the LFG husband, and he started to tear up and had to reach for the tissues. If we had such a large and lovely place to weld, paint, hammer, tinker with engines, etc., I might never see him again.
The gardener in the family had a more humble working space, but charming none the less. A small shed with an attached greenhouse painted a lovely, cheering shade of red, gladdened up a space usually consigned to utilitarian duties only.
Not only were there outbuildings in abundance, fun and quirky artwork was in evidence throughout as well. Using my finely honed detective skills, I determined that this gardener seemed to have a penchant for ducks, frogs, and rabbits.
Are you feeling sorry for me yet?
My Geranium ‘Johnson’s Blue’ are almost finished flowering, with maybe a dozen blossoms between seven plants. It just isn’t fair how many flowers are left on this one Geranium plant!
Even the vegetable garden had an outbuilding. What do you think: teahouse, outhouse, playhouse, or …?
The owner’s have a real passion for rock gardens, and I was pleased to discover that the rockery (is that a word?) was not ignored in the found object category.
Surely by now, at least the vestiges of pity are welling inside you for me. Any gardener that can include bright yellow dump trucks on tour day with confidence gets a gold star from me. And the local children.
The fire pit was blazing, adding to the ambience as well as smoking the bugs away. Very clever.
A couple of plant shots. I only took a few pictures of just plants. Most were of ensembles like the one below.
That’s a whalebone, folks. If my animal anatomy class serves me well (and it rarely does), it looks like a vertebrae from the whale’s back. Ouch.
I insert this picture because it is the exact shade of blue my toenails are painted. You see how desperate I am? You are indeed hard-hearted if you can’t feel bad for poor little me yet.
I should have a dozen of these clever signs around my garden. “Pending” is so much more hopeful than '”weeds,” which is what my unfinished areas constitute.
A lighthouse? Or just lighting?
Wow, someone in Alaska is growing this grass other than me. That is if it’s Arrhenatherum elatius bulbosum 'Variegatum’. The taxonomist who cobbled that string of epithets together should be horsewhipped with a wet noodle. What gardener is ever going to say it all? I just call it Arrhenatherum and have done with it.
Well, by now you know the tour was a ball to take but a wrecking ball to my psyche. With only a few days until the tour, I am too busy being frantic to feel much self pity. I look at it this way, by Friday it will be all over.
Any tips for the tour? Ways to drown my sorrow sans alcohol?