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.
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?