Year 3, Column 12: Garden of Gifts…

Zinnia Fest 2 is now one for the history books. As always, when I throw a party, I have a moment of paralyzing fear thinking no one will show up about 10 minutes before starting time.

My fears were relieved, though. Friends, family and connections showed up to share in the good vibrations.

Fun day at Groundhog Hill: Anniversaries were celebrated (Bill & Marge Handley), local celebrities stopped by (Mother of the Year Wilma McDowell) and lots of zinnias were cut.

Mother Of The Year Wilma McDowell.

Mother Of The Year Wilma McDowell.

I did not get around to confirming the hot air balloon rides or the archery demonstrations, and the weather was a little too toasty for Dad, so it was just me holding court and offering freshly brewed Iced Tea to anyone who would accept a glass as they perused the rows of zinnias and gazed at the still-growing (and very tall) Peruvian Purple Corn.

My sister Paula had to work at her biscuit factory, so she was not able to grill some freshly caught groundhog or wild turkey, as originally planned. I should not have scheduled ZinniaFest for a Saturday morning. My bad, Sister!

Readers (and now, new Friends) traveled from as far away as New Haven to Elizabethtown to Magnolia to check out this year’s colorful crop. The Japanese Beetles, spiders and any ticks that may have found their way onto their flowers were complimentary, as well.

Next year, I’ve decided to hold a lecture series, perhaps a 3-parter, entitled, Johnson Grass: Friend, Foe or Alternative Fuel Source? (Note to Self: Email Ag Secretary Jamie Comer and get it on his calendar!) Katy Blair-Cecil and the award-winning LCHS Speech team are hereby invited to participate!

Also, lightning struck in the form of a fantastic idea when I spied a little kid playing with a garden hoe: Groundhog Hill (Child Labor) Camp. Next summer, parents can drop their kids off at GH around 8 AM and pick them up around Noon.

Chuck, Shelby & Lea...

Chuck, Shelby & Lea…

During that time, the kids can learn the difference between crab grass and everything else, and the best methods for pulling it up with their tiny little hands. There will also be cow patty collection from the pasture next door, but warning, there is an electric fence to navigate so some charring of children may occur. Parents are encouraged to sign Waiver of Liability beforehand.

Of course, guided creek walks will be included just to keep the mood light after a hard morning of weed identification and eradication. The cool water will help with any burns, as well.

Sounds like a winner to me.

In all seriousness, it was great to see so many kids running to and fro, picking zinnias and opening and closing the doors of other people’s cars. I shall treasure the discarded sippy cup I found as a memento of a morning well-spent with the next generation’s flower children.

Chuck, Shelby & Lea...

Chuck, Shelby & Lea…

Shelby & Regan West with Groundhog Hill Gardener.

Shelby & Regan West with Groundhog Hill Gardener.

And if the day hadn’t been fine enough, we were blessed with a terrific downpour of rain later that night, so the garden is gratefully muddy now.

My intention for Zinnia Fest is to give away flowers to friends, but for the second year in a row, I have come away with most of the gifts: Friendship, Fellowship, and Fun.

Good times at Groundhog Hill.

More later.

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About Surfing Hollywood

Steve La Rue is an internationally recognized leader in Film & Television with 20+ years experience as a Development Executive championing such series as Buffy The Vampire Slayer, The X-Files, The Simpsons, King of the Hill, Battlestar Galactica, and Farscape. He writes, blogs, and consults on All Things TransMedia from his home at the beach in Santa Monica, CA, where he balances his life by surfing every damn day.
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