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Report From PIA – June 10

I’m opening Poison Ivy Acres at the end of June; it will be on a fundraising garden tour to benefit my church. Needless to say, I can’t plant/weed/mulch/edit/rearrange fast enough.

I’ve had gardens on tour in the past, and I realize that what I feel pressured to finish may not be anything that most people notice. A rare plant (it’s variegated!) might be what draws my eye, while most visitors only notice the fence or a rose that’s still in bloom.

When people have visited this garden in the past, I am always amazed to hear their comments. One person’s sole remark was, “This is a lot of work,” while another said, “You must have put so much money into this place…” Once a visitor didn’t notice any of the hundreds of shrubs or perennials, but focused only on the annuals. She kept repeating, “You plant these every year? Every year?”

Does this mean that people are prone to seeing what they fear, or don’t want to do? Where else in life do we do this? Is it only possible to see another’s landscape through our own, selective lenses?

It may not be the showiest of azaleas, but this 'Lollipop' is one of my favorites because it is so fragrant. Most visitors to the garden don't give it a second glance, let alone a second sniff. But once in a while someone will stop to inhale when they're near the fragrance garden, and say, "What smells so good?" Those rare visitors are going beyond seeing the garden through their own lens, and they are experiencing the landscape through all of their senses.

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