I went to a garden party

Master Gardeners know how to show you as good time
By Paul Viau | Jun 07, 2012
Photo by: File photo A BIG GREEN THUMBS UP — The Master Gardeners have done it again. This year's Garden tour is a "must see."

OK, this is another column that will date my wife and me. But I make no apologies whatsoever. We both had the great fortune to grow up "children of the 60’s."

During our formative years, we witnessed the birth of rock and roll, experienced The Beatles' visit to America, and in college … learned to take our coffee with a lot of "Cream.”

These days, we listen to more country music than anything else — but because of our diverse and musical life’s experiences, we often speak to one another in lyrics.

Let me give you an example, I’m a “Pisces, Virgo rising, it’s a very good sign.” And I’m always dreaming of a new camera, a new car, new golf clubs, etc.

Carol keeps me (and our nest egg) in check with a little Rolling Stones wisdom, “You can’t always get what you want.”

Conversely, when things don’t go Carol’s way, I console her with a lyric from the 1970 hit, “I beg your pardon. I never promised you a rose garden.”

Truth be known, we are both blessed with everything we need, including a strong love of music and our own knockout of a rose garden. And coming soon, we plan to celebrate Carol’s love of gardening with a hit made popular by Ricky Nelson in 1971 — "Garden Party."

Of course, I am referring to the upcoming Haywood County Master Gardeners tour Saturday, June 23, this year titled the “Gardens, Mountains and Streams Tour.

This will be our third time on the tour, and Carol and I consider this one of the nicest days a couple can spend together. In fact, it’s a “Magical Mystery Tour” — “waiting to take you away …” to gardens, mountains and streams throughout Haywood County —six of them, in fact.

The Garden Tour begins at the historic dairy barn at the Mountain Research Station off Raccoon Road. There you’ll register with the Master Gardeners, meet a host of vendors, and get directions to the other gardens on the tour.

You’ll have a chance to see landscaping designed to “rest the eye and calm the mind” at a dentist’s office in Clyde. Next on the tour is a mountainside home that is lushly landscaped to achieve an "all natural native effect."

Nearby, just up the mountain, you can tour what is billed as a “wooded, whimsical hillside garden,” where you’ll find (among other things) rock roses, stone mushrooms, and even as black bear and cubs.

Stop  No. 4 on the Garden Tour is a property naturally split by flowing creek. There you’ll see both formal and informal gardens and an in-creek swimming pool.

Next up is a park-like setting in Jonathan Valley where nearly a quarter mile of Hemphill Creek has been “embellished” with plantings of more than 350 trees and shrubs.

Last, but certainly not least, is a one-of-a-kind mountaintop garden high on Cataloochee Mountain. This is your chance to view beautiful gardens with a backdrop that comes upon you "wave upon wave."

There you have it. This year’s Haywood Garden Tour will be another spectacular and inspiring day.

If you enjoy gardening, even just a little, treat yourself and friends to a day of wonder and reflection, Saturday, June 23. Here’s the specifics — Tickets are $10 and can be purchased in advance and picked up on the day of the tour at “will call” by e-mailing mgtour2012@charter.net.  They are also available at the N.C. Cooperative Extension Center in Suite 118, at 589 Raccoon Road, in Waynesville. For a list of other ticket sales locations, call the extension center at  456-3575.