I spent my day today with the Shady Sisters. I've mentioned them a couple of times before. http://auntieksgarden.blogspot.com/2010/06/plant-coaches.html, http://auntieksgarden.blogspot.com/2010/08/just-another-day-on-farm.html The sisters are friends of mine and long-time gardeners, who have been selling their rare and unique hostas and other shade-loving plants for a few seasons now. After the 2010 season, I became an "official" sister. So, now in addition to helping on sale days, I dig and pot and plan and weed.
It rained buckets this morning, but people came to buy plants anyhow. Our first customer/gardener was there even before the official start of the sale at 8 am! We had many things potted, but people yesterday wanted varieties we hadn't potted, so we dug -- in the rain. And, by 8:30, three of us were covered in mud. Somehow, Betsy remained mud free all day. We're not sure how she managed it. The sun came out around lunchtime, so we were caked in mud instead of slimed in it.
The farm where the Sisters grew up and have their gardens is being sold, so this is the last year for the gardens and for the sales. We don't know whether an agreement will be made this year or not, but the uncertainty -- and the amount of plants still in the gardens -- made us decide that this would be our last year. It's great to talk with gardeners who have some connection to the farm and watch their faces as they get plants from the gardens. It means something to them and we know the plants will be well cared for. I'm moving things around in my own gardens to make room for a few more Shady plants, too.
We have one sale left this year -- in mid-August. It's going to be bittersweet. (And, I hope it doesn't rain!)