The ‘Lowered Expectations’ Garden Tour will now begin……


Originally posted in the Alaska Highway News (August 3rd, 2017 in my column ‘From the Desk of the Green Eyed Girl’)

The airbrakes release on the tour bus with a ‘whoosh’: The door opens and large group of women, overflowing wine glasses clenched in hands, stumble down the steps, giggling and laughing.

Marie, the tour guide who is also clutching a full glass of white wine, leans against the side of the bus and waits for the group of ladies to quit laughing and talking long enough so that she can begin her description of the final garden of their tour.

Draining her glass, Marie clears her throat and begins (slurring slightly). “To our left is a triangular flower bed filled with long forgotten perennials and a generous abundance of peace country weeds. Oh……and the weird circle on the lawn is called Fairy Ring.”

Raucous laughter breaks out, with one woman yelling “Bravo! It’s beautiful”.

Marie is unfazed by the silliness – to be fair, this is the 5th or 6th glass of wine for many in the group and it’s been a long day. She speaks loudly to be heard amongst the chatter. “Let’s make our way into the back yard where our host promises an obstacle course of children’s toys and unfinished projects. Note the partially stained deck with the expensive paint-brush left out to be destroyed in the hot sun”.

The group gives a collective “ahhhhhhhhhhh” in response to the description, nodding in unison.

In case you were wondering, this is no ordinary summer garden tour – THIS garden tour is titled, “Lowered Expectations” and is an imaginary garden tour of 80% of homes.

Wouldn’t it be fun? Wouldn’t it be fun to go on a garden tour of overgrown vegetable plots and aphid eaten flowerbeds? The homeowner telling you, “Don’t worry about where you walk – I can’t tell where the weeds end and the vegetables begin”.

The Lowered Expectations tour would not be designed to inspire anyone – it would be designed to give a collective middle finger to the expectation that our summer be spent hunched over a raised vegetable bed, pulling weeds in preparation for an afternoon where strangers trample through your yard in silent judgment (unless of course that is your thing).

Don’t get me wrong……this is written very tongue in cheek. Of course I admire those who devote all of their time and energy to their lovely yards and I have been one of those touring and trampling through in silent judgment.

I am not judging them…..the silent judgment is directed at myself and why I can’t have the same type of tidy yard and then I remember, “Oh right Judy….you are lazy”.

Speaking with friends the other day via Facebook, we agreed that we should have a garden tour for the average woman and perhaps a few under achievers to make ourselves feel better. Oh…..and wine….the tour bus needed wine.

Can someone make this happen? I promise you the tickets would sell out.

Let’s get back to the tour……Marie gathers everyone and asks for silence. “Ladies! Can I have your attention please! We saved this until the very last home. If I could get you all to look up a bit….yes….up towards the roof…yup…do you see it?”

The group begins to clap and cheer as they all see what Marie is pointing to on the home. Faded Christmas lights dangle from the eavestrough – the perfect ending to an imperfect garden tour.

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