Garden Gusher ~ My First Garden Tour

Dear sisters,

When is the last time you threw caution to the wind, stepped out of your comfort zone, and let your dreams set sail towards horizons unseen? It’s scary isn’t it? Every time I get the BIG IDEA to try something new I get a case of the butterflies weeks before, imagine that no one will like what I have done ( or even worse ) judge me unmercifully for trying. To make matters worse I’m plagued with self-doubt. My emotions ebb and flow between being terrified and over flowing with anticipation. I don’t like feeling that way ( or maybe I do ?) I’ll admit, I’m a bit of a stirrer upper. I like my seas a little rough sometimes but, I like to be the one making the waves! Last November in a weak moment over tea ( obviously spiked with MaryJane juice ) with friends I announced that I was going to have my first ‘ open garden tour ‘ this summer. The statement just flew out of my mouth like I’d done it a dozen times before. Pif! What did I have to lose? Having just come off of the biggest flower high ever, (compliments of my FIRST SEASON with annual cut flowerbeds) I was in a state of gardeners gushiness. I guess you could say the combination of mourning my beloved blooms and feeling excited about NEW growing possibilities for the coming year got the better of me. What’s a farmgirl to do?

Gather your courage and go for it that’s what!

Don’t think for a minute I would leave YOU out of THIS FARMGIRL adventure!

If you can bare it, come on it for all the dirt AND some ice cold citrus water!

Fueled with excitement I didn’t really think about how much physical work it would be to finish planting flower beds in various gardens and then spread three yards of mulch to keep them all hydrated in this mid summer heat but, I knew the largest areas of my garden were ” mature enough ” to put their best FLOWER faces on for an afternoon of show and tell.  And they did not disappoint! In fact, they were on their best behavior and made this garden gushin’ momma very proud! But first, I had to work and plan, plan and work. I was ” out straight ” for a week so the garden and I would be ready for our guests. When I say, I, I mean I! My handsome Yankee started a new job in May so he’s not as accessible as he was when he worked from the home office. We’re grateful for sure and we’re adjusting to the new routine but I sure miss seeing his smile through out the day and when I need them, his muscles! He did do his magic on the trees, shrubs and edging beforehand so that I could get the new plants in and mow the lawn. Unfortunately, our very willing and able 17 year old son came down with an untimely summer cold with a nasty cough the week before my tour so he was unable to help. It was at this point I knew I had more work cut out for me than I had originally thought. But, I wanted my tour to be over the top wonderful, beautiful and INSPIRING. So, what did I do? I got to work PERSPIRING.

My fellas had their bi annual white water rafting trip with the Boy Scouts the same weekend so the night before the big day our daughter and I and her BFFL Katie got the inside of the house ready and they made a lovely sign for the front yard with black foam core and white chalk. While they finished the sign and tidied up I made a few light refreshments to serve throughout the tour. We collapsed into bed sometime after midnight ready for a fun and colorful day ahead.

Whew! I don’t know about you but I think a relaxing garden tour sounds perfect right now!


I placed a table at the front of the garden for a guest book, a plant list and some of my post cards for Dandelion House.

I placed a couple of small jars filled with fresh basil and mint on the table to prime my guests before entering the garden. Ahhh.

Okay! You’re off!  This is a self guided tour so please enjoy the following images with some relaxing music ! Simply click on the music then open this blog in different tab to continue. Enjoy! I’ll see you at the end of the tour for some fresh citrus water and more garden chatter!

Hydrangea ( Endless Summer ) and yellow daylily and

our scrap stone patio made by my hubby.

Raised Cut Flower, Veggie and Herb beds

My mom ( Joy ) and her friend Diane walking amongst the flowers.

First Dahlia blossoms!

Gladiolus in bud.

You know how I love red!

Mixed baby lettuce and Swiss Chard planted for my “girls”.

Garden Shed

The Little Red RECYCLED Hen House

Hazel and Lacy Lou (my fat bottomed girls).

Butterfly Garden

Oak Leaf Hydrangea Blossom

Purple Coneflower

Jacob’s Cline ‘ Bee Balm ‘

Double Red Knock Our Rose

Black Eyed Susan

Variegated Tall Phlox

David Austin English Rose

Some of my guests ( Joy, Diane, Carol and Mary ) after the tour under the gazebo enjoying some light garden fare.

I bet you could use a drink too!

I also set out a basket of my homemade notecards so my guests could take home a reminder of their day in the garden.

Here’s what Pam Denholm of South Shore Organics had to say after her visit:

 It was lovely to see you Deb, your garden was lovely and I enjoyed our visit very much. I think the tour was perfect, of most interest was the layout of your garden and how you positioned your flowers. I did learn something new. I am definitely going to be planting some of those Knock Out roses. I have tried to grow a more traditional English rose in my garden , and have tried three different locations with no luck at all. At the end of this year I will pull them out I think. I also loved how you fenced in your chickens. We have a wooded area at the back of our yard and I would love to do something similar for them because their run is very small. They seem happy enough, but I want more than anything for them to have more space ( and to get more chickens).

I am INSPIRED! I get very impatient, we have only been in our house for a few years and have had some big (and expensive) grading and tree removal projects to undertake before I could do anything, so I get frustrated that we are not making enough progress and I don’t have a pretty garden. Plus, starting a new business and raising a family are ( happy ) gardening distractions. But walking around your garden and listening to you talk about the fact that it took three years for the scrap stone patio to be completed and listening to you talk about each project that you have undertaken reminded me that it takes time. Rome wasn’t built in a day, but and the end of it you have a beautiful garden that has been well worth the effort. So, I just need to keep plugging away and now instead of feeling defeated, I WANT to keep plugging away:) Pam

Michael Hart and his ” partner in crime” Laurie Hepworth publish and edit our local Edible South Shore Magazine. It’s quite possible you have an edible publication in your town too. Their mission is to bring more FRESH local food to your table by featuring local farms, homesteads, restaurants, farmers markets and more.

They came to the tour with Pam because we all have yet another, GARDEN TOUR in the works. We are in the early planning stages of putting together the First Annual South Shore Sustainable Backyard Farm Tour! I’ll keep you posted!

Michael caught Max smelling the roses…

The idea to open my garden had a little more oomph behind it than just flaunting

my flowers. Beautiful gardens of any style, shape, size and color have the power to take people away from their worries and concerns. They inspire NEW GROWTH in the viewer as well as future gardens. I wanted to share the beauty of our backyard homestead with others in hopes just a little of all the love we have planted  (minus the stiff muscles, sweat and dirty feet) would rub off on those who came to visit. A place where ones cares and troubles fall away even if just for a day giving way for new garden dreams to begin.

I hope you got that too! There’s only one thing I would change about this perfect day with friends in my garden. Having all of you here too!

Next time YOU have a BIG IDEA and your nerves are getting the better of you, pull yourself up by your FARMGIRL BOOTSTRAPS and drink a cup of MaryJane juice! You know she’s there rootin’ you on ( and so am I ) so go on and make some waves! Thanks, MJ!

As always, thanks for letting me ” gush ” from the shorelines!

Until next time…


much love,

Deb # 1199

  1. I die!!!! Beautiful, gorgeous gardens!!! Thank you so much for sharing. Truly inspiring…:)))

  2. Joan says:

    OH MY GOODNESS!!!!!! OH how I wish I could have been there – you make such a lovely, serene area to – well – to JUST in. Can’t believe how much you have done WOW!!!!! thanks for sharing. This is such a WONDERFUL precursor to what I am going to do tomorrow in our area – our Garden Club has what they call Secret Garden Tour every July. My garden was shown twice – so much fun and what a privilege to be chosen. After seeing yours I am bursting at my every leaf to get out tomorrow – there are 5 gardens available. We live in a multi climate area, from totally dry to being in the forest so all will be great fun – JUST LIKE YOURS!!! God Bless

  3. Debbie says:

    Love love your gardens!! Thanks for the fun beautiful tour.
    I had my gardens on our garden club tour one year. So fun and I know how nervous it can make you. 🙂
    Thanks so much for sharing!

  4. Lynda says:

    Dear Debbie –

    What a tremendous gift to read about your beautiful garden Tour today and I can’t pick a favorite thing ’cause I love it all. especially the chicks, the Hen House, and the Hydrangeas. Coming to NH next month for our annual trip and will hit Marshfield for sure hoping to see some blooms like yours!

  5. Lane says:

    Loved the etour of your gardens. You have a beautiful garden!

  6. Deborah says:

    Love your gardens. Everything beautiful. You are so talented.Thanks for the tour.

  7. Jean says:

    This is something I dream about doing… We’ve lived in our home for seven years now. It was an abandoned old farm house with most of the windows busted out, and not a garden to be found… not one!

    Since then, my yard has been transformed… feel free to see much of it at the web site I gave. The project at hand is a new pond… then, then… I think I’ll be ready.

    Thanks for sharing… so inspired.

  8. Dolly Sarrio says:

    I feel as if I were on the tour and sure wish I had been. Everything looks so pretty. You plan a wonderful Garden Tour even down to your very pretty note cards, so thoughtful. Great Job!

  9. Victoria says:

    Beautiful! Beautiful! Beautiful!!! Since you are a northern Nevada gal, you know how hard it is to have a lush garden, such as you have, in a dry climate. I live in So. Calif. and it is very difficult to get that bountiful, overwhelming effect that you can back east. Deb, your gardens are absolutely goregous! And that Max, what a cute little bug he is!

  10. Nicki says:

    Everything looks wonderful, Debbie! I bet you’re mighty proud of yourself, as well you should be! Especially for taking the plunge and doing something a little bit scary. You inspire me, (farm) girlfriend!

  11. Louise Marie says:

    Oh how lovely! The music just made it like a dream. The lovely notes ended exactly at the end of the post. How awesome is that! Your music, gardens, chickens, spaces, shed, grass, trees, flowers, colors, words, everything is perfect. You amaze me!

  12. Having had the pleasure to see Debbie’s garden in person I have to saw it’s even more stunning than in her gorgeous photo’s. What a joy to have her tour us around and answer all of our questions. Very inspiring.

  13. Joan Marie says:

    Lovely garden tour. You’ve given me the inspiration to have my neighbors come visit our home and gardens – this is our 2nd summer working on our acre in Cape May – and altho the crab grass has taken over my raised flower bed – I’m now going out in the 90 degrees to attack it and whip the rest of the beds into shape! Thanks Deb. Joan Marie from Cape May NJ

  14. Lorrae says:

    I just loved every bit of it good for you for going ahead a doing it keep up the beautiful work. thanks for sharing

  15. Oh Deb, everything is gorgeous and I know you worked hard to get it picture perfect ready. You did good girl. I enjoyed the tour and yes the only thing better would have been to have been there sipping on that citrus water…mmmmm….mmmmm.ahhhh…so relaxing…lol..Love ya keep blogging stay Blessed!

  16. Lorrie MacKenzie says:

    Your garden is beautiful! I love reading about the projects you do. Watching you try new things and experiment and, despite being unsure, keep going gives me inspiration and confidence that I could do something also. Seeing and hearing about your garden tour kept me smiling all day!

  17. Merrilyn says:

    Hello Miss Deb, you never cease to amaze me. If I can keep up with the lawn mowing and garden weeds I feel like I have accomplished something. Your garden is beautiful and inspiring. Wish our growing season was longer. It is mostly in baskets and raised beds. This year has been hot enough for the strawberries to grow. What I admire about you is is your willingness to continually try new things and it always turns out so nice. You go girl. Looking forward to your next post.

  18. daisy says:

    What a lovely and serene garden. I agree with Pam, the layout of the garden was quite interesting. That’s what I struggle most with in my gardening. Your blooms are beautiful. Thanks for sharing your hard work with us. ;0)

  19. Pamela deMarrais says:

    Hey Deb! Your garden is a reflection of you…bright and colorful, with a generous dash of serenity. You have a great talent with design, both with the shape of the gardens and the mix of tall and lower plantings, and well as the color combinations. It shows that you have spent countless hours on your garden and the hard scape as well. Love, love, love the patio! Bravo girlfriend!

  20. BeachFarmgirl says:

    Howdy Sisters!
    What fun to come home from the beach to all of your sweet comments! You made my Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, …:)

    PS. If any of you are New England Gardeners and would like a copy of my plant list leave me a note with your email address. Just check the author only box and I’ll get it!

  21. Shery says:

    What a beautiful back yard. I’d love to sit with you some evening around your fire pot. I’ve never grown dahlias before. Looks like I’ll have to give them a try. Your photo tour made me feel like I was there. Wish I had been ;o)

  22. Laura says:

    Hi Deb, your tour was delightful and you have a lot to be proud of; all your hard work, your creative tour hospitality, and your farmgirl spirit that allowed you to meander outside your comfort zone, butterflies and all !
    My son, now 17, gave me my first ever Mother’s Day plant of knockout roses and I was happy to see yours in the tour and look forward to years of enjoyment from mine. Thanks again for the tour !!

  23. Karen Cartlidge says:

    Oh I loved your tour !! Such beautiful flowers and I loved all the raised gardens (I’m new to MaryJanesFarm – just received my first magazine and I’m in LOVE —) I can’t wait to follow your blog and your amazing back yard. How sweet to share a note card with your visitors too !!! Life certainly feels "right" in our garden…

    Karen from the NC Coast

    Welcome Karen! Thank you for the visit… So happy to have you here…! If you’re like I was when I saw my first MJF magazine I couldn’t put it down! I still feel that way after three years of subscribing! It’s more than a magazine. It’s pages filled with love and inspiration from cover to cover! I know you’ll enjoy all of the blogs! Each one is unique and uplifting! xo Deb

  24. Debbie says:

    Oh my goodness! This is so beautiful! I just want to hop in my car and drive til I get there! Love, love, love this. Incredible!

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