Thursday, June 23, 2011

Ft. Collins Junior League Garden Tour

Jacob's first trolley ride.
Granny Bootcamp 2011 has come to an end. I learned a lot about life and the ways of an 8 year old boy. The house is quiet, though still not totally but back together after the little guests. Mom came up from Denver with the 2 year old Friday night. We were all up early Saturday morning to attend the Ft. Collins (CO) Junior League Garden Tour.  There were 7 homes on the tour, all on the same street or just a block or two off. The gardens were in an older part of town that has been rescued from college rentals. The neighborhood is a lovely area with the old craftsman style homes, many of which have been restored to their former grandeur. The streets are line with ancient trees maple, ash, and Linden trees. Daughter (the arborist) said some of the trees must be over a 100 years old. We found the first home easily and were prepared to walk the route, when the trolley stopped. We hopped on and rode to the next house.

The trolley ran in Ft. Collins from 1919-1957. In 1977,  its restoration began. The trolly runs from the city court house in Old Town west several blocks to the city park. Adults pay $2.00 and children pay $1. Rides the day of the garden tour were free for those who had tickets to the tours. It saved a lot of walking, and for us stroller pushing.

At one of the houses, Rabbit Shadow Green House, a small nursery in Loveland, had a free activity for the children. They were able pick out a couple of plants and plant them in a clay pot. 

The ladies were so nice. Jacob's first pot fell and broke and they kindly let him pot another plant.

What a little trouper he was, following his mamma, grandma, and grandpa around for 3 hours looking at plants. 

 I had to take this frog's picture. It was just so cute, seemed to have real attitude.

This shrub rose was so beautiful. I used the macro on my little point and shoot digital Olympus. The rose was not labeled, so I have not a clue what it was. I want one, though

I took this photo not for the beautiful soft peachy climbing rose, but for the American flag. I love to photograph the American flag. Nothing quite as American than roses and flags.

 The Junior League organizes a wonderful garden tour each year as a fund raising project to the support women's and children's charities. One thing I always look forward to is their rhubarb punch. It is so good and very refreshing. I'm sure they won't mind me sharing their recipe:

10 cups chopped rhubarb
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 (6 oz,) cans frozen lemonade
9 cups of water

1. Bring ingredients to boil and simmer until rhubarb is soft
2. Strain liquid through sieve or food mill
3. Disgard leftover mash or use it make jam, pie, etc.
4. Cool liquid concentrate. (May also be frozen)

To serve punch: mix concentrate with one 2 liter bottle of lemon-lime soda (7-up). Serves 20.

On a final note, an answer the question How to get a violet to re-bloom: The number one reason your violet has stopped blooming most likely is because it is not getting enough light. Place your violet in a sunny window that has filter light from either a shady tree or a sheer curtain. They cannot tolerate direct sun light because it will burn and discolor the leaves. You can grow very healthy violets that never bloom if they don't have that filtered sun light. They also do well in an office under artificial light. There are other reasons why your violet might not bloom, too. Check out this web site for more information on Why My Violet Won't Bloom.Violets will take a rest and not bloom, nor do  they don't like to be moved around when they may stop blooming until they adjust to a new spot. Keep these simple growing tips in mind:
*water from the bottom weekly with tepid water
*use a commercial violet fertilizer with each watering
*place in a northern window or one with filtered sun light
*read up on violets; there a dozens of web pages with good instructions for keeping and even propagating these beautiful little house plants.

It is supposed to finally get hot today: 91. I say "finally" because it has been quite cool and windy, and not very summery. I have a fine crop of weeds to tackle. Happy gardening to all.


  1. I wish that I had a trolley like that to ride around garden tours...what fun you must have had.

    Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

  2. You must miss the little ones! (maybe not think of all that rest you're getting now LOL) I like your trolley! We have plenty of trams in Melbourne but the old character filled ones are slowly being phased out. Too sad.

  3. I would love to be in that tram too enjoying a garden tour. I'm glad a clay pot was offered for free in replacement of the broken one. Small actions like this may mean so much to the little one.

    You looking forward to Summer and I am looking forward to cooler weather. It's been unbearably scorching hot around here.

  4. This looks like so much fun. I love the trolly car, and the the rhubarb punch sounds delightful!

    Thank you for stopping by my blog!

  5. Hi Ann,
    Visiting you for the first time after seeing your comment on Jackie's Life in Surrey blog.
    I enjoyed reading about the garden tour, the trolley must have been a life saver I bet!
    Have a wonderful week,
    all the best from Normandy

  6. What a wonderuful idea the Rabbit Shadow Greenhouse had! Now that's a great name for a nursery!!! It's amazing how much you miss the little ones once they're gone and just how quiet it seems! Lovely post and great photos.