Hosting hosta tour draws topics worth pondering

If you’re reading this Saturday morning, I’ve had my hot tea and am taking a last walk through the yard to make sure none of my brothers have slipped over in the middle of the night and planted a rogue bed of weeds. My sisters would never think of such things, but that’s what brothers — and friends — do.

Yes, I do recall an enormous flock of bright bilious pink flamingos that snuck into our yard in the dark of night by a few high-school-age young men who knew my loathing for such “garden art.” We also had a special delivery of a toilet in the middle of my driveway, which was thoughtfully planted with Hosta “Vulcan” and some other Star Wars-named Hosta — which also gave away the movie-loving culprits.

Today and tomorrow, our garden (that’s a fancy way of saying “yard”) is part of a 10-garden tour for the Indianapolis Hosta Society. So far, we’ve dodged the spring high winds, tornadoes and leaf-tearing hail storms that have wreaked havoc on a few of my hosta-friends’ gardens in nearby counties. With a few minor challenges getting prepared for the tour, I’ve had lots of time to ponder these things in my mind:

1. Do not compare your garden to others on the tour. The Westerly Mansion on the Indianapolis Museum of Art grounds is, well … a mansion, as are some of my fellow tour homes, but each garden is enjoyably unique.

2. Have fun and enjoy the garden-o-philes who you meet — that’s what a garden tour is ultimately about — sharing life, botanical and human, with new and old friends.

3. There is no need to reminisce about the decisions you’ve made along the way. “Do I keep or find a new home for the not-even-a year-old, aqua-blue pool chair that matches the set of six — that a mouse decided needed a quarter-size hole in the back when it was stored in the barn for the winter? Or will a thorough cleaning with the power sprayer and a perfectly-placed pillow work?

4. I wonder if the nine other garden owners have had to dispose of a dead raccoon, three moles and a huge rabbit — that I surely hope was not the Easter Bunny — which were left as a gift by Milli, our Blue Heeler. I can only assume that Milli sensed we were preparing for something, and this was her way of pitching in.

5. Dredging our creek with an assembly line of buckets (so the ferns and hostas wouldn’t be disturbed) is quite analogous to cleaning out closets before company comes over. No one will actually know, but it just makes you feel better.

6. I wonder if it will rain? I wonder if it will be hot and humid? I wonder if it will snow?

One of the last few items to be checked of my list is finishing my Bible plant signs. Okay, I actually have to start and finish them, but here’s one of my favorite:

Bur Oak

Quercus macrocarpa

The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me because the LORD has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor … to comfort all who mourn and provide for those who grieve in Zion — to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor. (Isaiah 61:1-3)