|SJG - October colors (taken on a sunny day)|
Yesterday was raining cats and dogs and my calendar had 1:00 PM tour for Arboretum Foundation Unit 41; would they come in such weather? The SJG docent group makes AF Unit 86 (that's us, the guides) and I always wondered who the remaining 85 units are, now I could ask, if they show up. Almost all of them did and it turned out they share the love of gardening and mainly help with AF events. 'So, do you want a TOUR tour? You probably know all of that already'. Regular tour is fine, but may have some questions about the design and maintenance, they answered, and off into the rain we went.
I normally avoid guiding groups listed as 'gardeners' of any kind, simply because my knowledge of plants is not enough for their curiosity - this gang tricked me, being listed as something else. May have to be that they will teach ME something, I thought after they revealed their true gardener identities. We just started the tour and stopped by the paperbark maple; the question came: 'do you know its botanical name?' Nope, eerr, or maybe I do, kind of: Acer? Acer palmatum something? Several of them noded and then told me: 'Acer, but not palmatum, no palm-like leaves here, it's Acer griseum'. (All right, the way it's going I'm sure by the end of the tour I'l get several tree names firmly attached to my brain cells :) )
|Paper bark maple leaves|
By the Katsuga lantern we are all under umbrellas or rain-hoods; the Garden looked spectacular with its autumn foliage, just with a different, but still breath taking away wet-angle to it. Unit 41 gardeners had many questions about maintenance, plus noted and admired many details normally overlooked by the tourist-visitors: how well the moss is kept, clever rooting of the cotoneaster in the northern rock wall and the general weed-free look of the place; they had a deep understanding why our garden maintenance crew starts their day at 6 or 7 am, well before the rest of us gets there - to prepare the garden for presentation.
The tour lasted well above the prescribed hour - as the rain never stops a true gardener. It was the cold air that finally brought us back to the gate, our hands and noses red, but still chatting the garden wonders. Now I have only 84 AF units to figure out. Joan L. and Maggie C. guided the rest of Unit 41; perhaps they'll chime in with their wet impressions.
十人十色 • juu nin to iro - different strokes for different folks • lit: " 10 people; 10 colors "