I went to a Garden Party (A Garden Party for Confused Brains)

Sometimes summer heat and humidity addle the brain…

I’ve been mulling this idea over for the last 2-3 days…Would I be more excited to meet the Queen Mother in person or perhaps sit with actor/actress Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep for a private dinner at a fancy restaurant or instead chat with a famous garden geek in my garden for an hour?  (Okay, I know it’s not nice to label garden designers, landscape architects, and garden writers as garden geeks, but for the purposes of this post, that’s their moniker.)  And the truth is, I think I’d be more excited to have a board certified famous garden geek visit me than to meet with Queen Elizabeth.  (Sorry your royal highness.)

Here is my short list of the “garden geeks” I’d love to spend an hour with:

Cassandra Danz a.k.a. “Mrs. Greenthumbs”.  I own her two books, Mrs. Greenthumbs: How I Turned a Boring Yard into a Glorious Garden and How You Can, Too and Mrs. Greenthumbs Plows Ahead: Five Steps to the Drop-Dead Gorgeous Garden of Your Dreams

Sadly, Cassandra passed away so she’s difficult to get in touch with. However, I’m certain I would have liked her.  She had an offbeat sense of humor and didn’t take herself too seriously.  (I’m still pissed I never got to meet her.)  Also, her house totally blows me away.

Thomas Rainer, landscape architect and co-author of Planting in a Post-Wild World. Rainer’s co-author, Claudia West, could come along too, although I’m not as familiar with her.

Mary Reynolds, UK nature activist, reformed landscape designer, and author of The Garden Awakening. Mary looks as if she would be a fun person to know.

Piet Oudolf, Dutch garden designer, nurseryman, and author of numerous garden books. I mean, really, who wouldn’t want to hang out with Piet?  Seriously.

David L. Culp author of The Layered Garden and owner of Brandywine Cottage. His partner, Michael, is invited to come as well. David seems to be knowledgeable about everything plant and design-related.

Gertrude Jekyll, horticulturalist, designer, and writer, who I believe is probably holding long conversations with Cassandra Danz and Christopher Lloyd regarding the Heavenly Garden and its evil weeds, don’t you think?

Christopher Lloyd, a practical UK gardener and author of multiple books, who has moved on to his new role as head gardener in the public garden in the sky.

William Robinson, Irish gardener and writer who is now the under-gardener to Christopher Lloyd above.

And wouldn’t it be grand to hold a casual garden party and have them all come?

Let’s see, I’d serve tender fall-off-the-bone barbequed brisket, a ham, hot homemade bread with real butter, a variety of veggies and salads, lemonade, tea, coffee, wine, various beers including craft beers, and lots of homemade desserts and ice cream.

Oh, but first I need to finish staining and sealing my deck chairs so I have enough places for people to sit.


One of two matching deck chairs overdue for the beauty parlor treatment.

I’ll invite Ricky Nelson, since there’s no requirement to be living to attend, and he can dress any way he likes (bell bottoms are fine) and play all the songs that catch his fancy, old or new.  This is not his first Garden Party, but this time, I want him to have fun. (Note – Garden Party video is slow to load.)

I suppose if the Pope wants to come, he can too.  I feel comforted by the fact that Pope Francis would quash any booing at Ricky’s music by giving disrespectful individual(s) one of his famous Donald Trump “looks”.

Conversations would probably go something like this:

So, Tom (Thomas Rainer), my Joe Pyeweed seems to be a loner.  He doesn’t appear to want to be part of the bigger plant community. He was born an only child, the only germinating seed of 30 that survived.  Any suggestions?


The loner, Joe Pye Weed, above.

Ah, Cassandra, it’s so nice to finally meet you!  Do you know of an easy way to get these weeds under control?  How about ideas for plants that might look good by my shed?  Oh, and where do you think a rusticated arbor would look best? Go ahead, kick off your sandals.  It’s okay.  By the way, what’s it like on the other side?  What do you do all day? (FYI – Gardeners never go to hell because the growing conditions are too hot there.)

David and Michael, thanks for coming. I just love what you’ve done at Brandywine Cottage.  As you can see, I have a lot of dry shade, and the two of you have a lot of dry shade experience.  If you want to give me some tips, I’m all ears. Oh, and what do you think of my planted log?  Did you see it?


Log planted with baby succulents yesterday.  The red you see is cayenne pepper to keep the squirrels, etc. away.

I’m honored to meet you, Pope Francis. Thank you for being here.  You have the greatest smile.  Please keep an eye out for Ricky over there.  By the way, the wine’s on the potting bench on the concrete patio.  Oh, thank you, I like the yellow irises too.


Yellow iris enjoying the heat and humidity and doing some bird entertaining on the side.

Of course, anyone reading this blog has a standing party invitation, and yes, you can bring your dog.

Since some of you may prefer to keep your gender unassigned or you’re just not sure yet, I promise I won’t call you “he” or “she”.  I’ll call you by your first name.  Example: “The bathroom is the second door on the left down the hall, Casey.” (My bathroom serves everyone regardless of color, sexual orientation, gender or unassigned gender.)

Ms. Streep, Mr. Hanks, Sir Rod, Sir Paul, & Justin…that is Rod Stewart, Paul McCartney and Justin Bieber…I’m sorry but I don’t have room for the five of you.  Perhaps next time.

So, who would you invite to your garden party?  Also, do you think I’ve left anyone out?



7 thoughts on “I went to a Garden Party (A Garden Party for Confused Brains)

  1. Sounds like a great garden party with interesting guests. Like the idea of the attendance of ghostly gardeners. Some late great Australian gardeners to include would be Edna Walling who created the beautiful gardens of Bickleigh Vale on the outskirts of Melbourne and Ellis Stones who was a pioneer of the natural garden in Victoria. Wish I had some of your garden deck chairs. I can imagine guests dressed in 1930s floaty garden party dresses with broad brimmed hats and men with boater hats lounging in such chairs. Love old movies with these types of scenes. Mint julep anyone?

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I’d love to crash that garden party of yours. Many of the guests you mention are favorites of mine, but I might add Jens Jensen, the founder of the Prairie School of garden design, and plantsman Roy Diblik. Also Neil Diboll from Prairie Nursery. And maybe John Cleese to keep everyone laughing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a fun blog post to read. You have a great guest list, although I don’t know many of the gardeners. All I have to add is that I always wanted to be Tasha Tudor, except she was a bit too off-the-grid for me. But otherwise her home was my dream. I believe she is also deceased, so maybe she would enjoy the party. The food and drink sounds wonderful.

    Liked by 1 person

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