Nine, ten, eleven, twelve. It’s Bloomtastic time. Four more days left. Saturday, May 12th, we open Maple Rock Gardens.

If you’ve ever wondered what it takes to open Maple Rock Gardens, well it takes a team. Most of the year the garden exists. It changes with the seasons. It rolls in and it rolls out of color. It grows. It smiles. But it takes a team. You can only imagine as these four days count down the intensity of anticipation and anxiety. Did we get it right? Is the garden ready to go? Will people enjoy themselves. What if the garden is ugly? What if nobody likes flowers?

We maintain the garden quarterly as its needs come up. But getting ready for tours and events, we polish the garden. We do everything we can to get rid of every weed, rake every path and bring all the timing of the garden to fruition on this one Bloomtastic day.

You can say we’re at the mercy of Nature, but if I can give a shout out to the team behind the scenes, we are more in control than you think.

Three months ago, we walked the garden taking pictures of all the areas that needed to be touched, fluffed and buffed. It was a stack of pictures to fill a binder. Notes were made on each and every picture and the process began.

A week or so later, we walked the garden again taking more pictures, more notes and more areas to fluff and buff and polish.

A month later, we walked the garden again with more pictures, more fluffing, more buffing and more notes.

As the months turn into weeks and the weeks give in to May, the vibration intensifies and the pictures with the notes of what to fluff and buff continue.

Let me introduce you to Nick. Nick has been with me for over two decades. He’s my right hand man. He’s respected, revered and a hard worker. We have watched our children get born and we have watched them graduate college together. Nick is the one who receives the stack of pictures with the notes and sets out to fluff and buff and polish the garden. It’s like a game. He wants to get the pictures done before I give him another stack. No chance. Every night I walk the garden snapping pictures. Every morning he drops his head as I say, “Nick, I have more pictures.”

And with his marching orders he goes out again. It’s a daunting task to polish the garden made harder by me. I want everything to be as perfect as Nature will allow us. Nick questions some of my pictures and notes. People won’t see that, he says. To which I reply, “It kept me up last night so we must do it.”

I’ve been in business for a long time and I’ve been audited more than once. It’s always come out in my favor. In the beginning it used to stress me a lot. Honestly, anymore my heart rate doesn’t need to go up. I’ve come to learn that when it’s over it’ll be over and to stay focused on that day. I’ve also learned to stick the auditor into a non air conditioned room and flood him with a mountain of paperwork, regardless of whether it really has anything to do with the audit or not. Maybe one day I’ll write an email about the tips and tricks of getting through an audit faster and painless.

We look forward to the day when Maple Rock Gardens is fluffed and buffed.

We look forward to the day when we’re down to our last few pictures. Move the table, prune the plant, remove the label. The audit is over.

Join us May 12 at Maple Rock Gardens.

It’s Bloomtastic time. Tour the gardens, listen to live music, enjoy a Mother’s Day mimosa and have lunch under the apple trees. Flowers will be blooming. Come enjoy the noiseless beauty of Maple Rock. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased online by clicking here, at the nursery and also at Maple Rock the day of Bloomtastic.

I took a few last pictures while walking the garden last night.

Walking the garden I was reminded of Keith. Keith is a plant rep. He came into the nursery one day and said, “There’s this killer plant you have to have.”

So, I bit. I planted gobs of them along the Farm Walk, probably about five years ago. I wasn’t too impressed. They didn’t grow the first year and died back in the winter time. Half of them didn’t even come back up. What a bust, I thought. So, I put it out of my mind and went on with my life.

What an awesome plant, Amsonia. Drought tolerant, completely idiot proof and it all came up this spring.

Here’s another sleeper in the garden. I always thought this plant had ugly leaves so we shoved it down into the lower, most desolate part of the garden, circling a dead apple tree. This plant thrives.

A few months ago this was an area targeted for a fluff and buff. I forgot they were there. That tells you the impression this plant with the ugly leaves left on me. But after a few years established in the garden it’s a winner in my book. Straight up aces. Salvia “May Night”, you are a friend of mine.

You know I’m not a rose fan. No real reason. Walking through the garden last night I got attacked by a rose. I approached the plant. Very unassuming it was to me. It was a rose.

Ordinary Rose? Nope.

Evidently, not an ordinary rose. It took my hat and taunted me to come get it. I just walked away. I’m not taking the chance.

Come see the not so ordinary rose during Bloomtastic. It’s located around the corner from the kitchen next to the dead apple tree by the plant with the ugly leaves.


Come meet Robin, Sunset Magazine’s Guru of Succulents.

Here’s the program. Robin will be talking two times. Once at 10:00 a.m. and once at 1:00 p.m. Make a reservation for breakfast or make a reservation for lunch and then go sit down and listen to Mr. Succulent talk. He wrote a book. It’s a pretty cool one. We’ll have it for sale. Pick one up while they last. It’s truly a beautiful book filled with lots of inspirational ideas.

Did I say you can shop until you drop for succulents? See you on June 16th. Sign up for this free event by clicking here.

Lavender Day is coming up. We’ll post the dates on Instagram and Facebook first. Stay tuned.

You can see a sneak peek of the lavender in the Amsonia picture. It’s coming.

Arriving at the station? Train Day.

Train Day is a Maple Rock exclusive. Who doesn’t like trains? Tickets can be purchased by clicking here, at the nursery or at Maple Rock on the day of the event. All aboard for Train Day.

Happy Mother’s Day, mothers. Drag your husbands to Maple Rock. There will be beer and the trains will be running. A little something for everybody.

See you Saturday at Bloomtastic.


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