Tuesday, June 7, 2016

28th EMG Manhattan Area Garden Tour

I feel like I'm cheating a little on today's blog post.  It took no creativity and very little thought on my part to put this together.  I simply wanted to show the greater world what they missed on June 5th when they didn't attend the 28th Annual Manhattan (Kansas) Garden tour organized by the Riley County Extension Master Gardeners.  If you're green with jealousy when you get to the bottom, then I'll feel like I've done my part.

Truthfully, any creativity here is all on the part of the host gardeners for the tour, but my part in the garden tour for several years has been as the unofficial photographer.  Somebody decided years ago that I take decent photos and we got in the habit of providing the homeowners with pictures from the tour since the hosting gardeners have very little time to be taking pictures.  Call these photos, and the 700 others that I took on the occasion, small payment enough for all the work of the tour hosts.

As "photographer,"on the "pre-tour" evening when the EMG's tour the gardens, and on the tour day itself, I run around like a hyperactive madman, trying to compose decent photos in seconds and snapping the shutter madly at each bend in a path.

But I have lots of fun discovering the nooks and crannies of each garden, and cataloguing the  idiosyncrasies of all the gardeners.  This year, one of the gardens had a number of fairy gardens in various containers.  I, and Mrs. ProfessorRoush, especially liked the little pig family in this one.

There were garden rooms for big people too; one of the gardens had a number of outdoor sitting areas that gave the garden a romantic feel.

It's a small garden tour, in terms of city size, but there were some fabulous views and landscaping that I'd put up against others anywhere on this continent.  Notice the doorway in the hillside here;  it leads to an underground garden shed that was created to get around restrictions by the local homeowners association.

There were several water features on the tour, and lots of goldfish, but even I had to admit that these Knock Out roses made a fine foreground for this man-made waterfall.

The peonies and irises have faded, and it is too early for the main run of daylilies, but there were plenty of clematis and these bright Bachelor's Buttons to fill the views in the gardens.  And Knock Out roses, of course, lots of Knock Out's.

For reasons that I have trouble putting words to, I returned over and over again to this coleus container.  Something about their brightness in a shady corner and their contrast with the pot just called out to me.

These fine Castor Beans are planted in landscaping next to a semi-public swimming pool at the Manhattan Country Club, one of the site hosts for this year.  I have to make a mental note later in the summer to make sure  that the manager knows to remove the seed pods from these before the toddlers sample them.  Or before Homeland Security chases him down.

I always enjoy the quiet areas of a garden, and this peaceful angel and resident rabbit provided some restful moments from the hectic nature of the tour.

So, I'm sorry, but if you weren't one of the few hundred Manhattanites and locals who took advantage of the perfect weather of this year's tour, these photos will have to do until you can join us next year.  I keep thinking that the EMG's should make a calendar of these photos as a fundraiser.  What do you think?


  1. Your photos are wonderful and I agree that a compilation of all of them would make a fabulous fund raiser.
    I have been going through your blog looking for the mention of roses that can take the heat, and while you do often state that quality in a rose, a blog post on that specific topic would be very timely. At least, for me. For the past two years, we have had unseasonably hot weather in early June, when it should be cool and damp and overcast. A week of near 100 deg. is hot for north eastern Washington. Of course, my roses are at their peak, and almost every bush is covered with dried up, crunchy little spheres or there are pink potato chips all over the ground. With your hot summers, some must stand out as particularly suited to hot weather.

    1. I'll consider a blog on "heat-tolerant" rose blooms, especially since we have temperatures forecast back into the high 90's this weekend and I'll be able to observe them. Off the top of my head, I'd suggest that the Austin Roses and species Rugosas are poor candidates and that thick-petaled Hybrid Teas seem to do the best. I'm pretty sure that 'Olympiad' is the best red rose in my garden to make it a few days in the heat. Other light pink hybrid teas may also. I'll be watching. Thanks for enjoying the blog.

  2. I just learned a new term from Elizabeth Licata of GardenRant...to "Buffalo a garden", meaning to add a statue or blooming plant to a garden to spruce it up for a tour. I saw plenty of that last weekend, shocked, I say, to see it right here in Manhattan Kansas. You can learn more about the term at http://gardenrant.com/2016/06/add-a-new-term-to-the-gardening-lexicon.html

  3. I, too think a report on heat tolerant roses is a good idea. I'd love to see it. The pot you liked was not holding coleus, although most people in the north think so, it was a caladium. Takes shade like hostas but comes from a tuber or corm or something like that, I see them often in bulb catalogs. My husband grew up in the south where people use these more often.

    1. You are, of course correct, it's a caladium. Thanks for the correction.


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