Mrs. Phactor is pretty pleased; the yard and garden look very neat and tidy, just a bit raw in some small areas, some new projects got done in time, and enough flowers are open to provide some color (but several flowering events are going to just miss). Living as we do in the middle of a city, the initial reaction is one of total surprise as you round the house and see the expanse of garden beyond. Then they usually ask if we take care of the whole thing ourselves. Yes, we certainly do. Then they assume we're retired. Nope, we both work full-time. The secret is perennials; they largely take care of themselves. Some of the other gardens included in this year's tour are quite impressive, meticulously planned and perfectly manicured, lawn like a carpet. A photographer put it quite another way, "Beautiful, but they had no soul, no personality." So there you have it, we gots the soul-food version of a garden. The large trees and spaces generate a park-like quality, a very restful and calming place, if you aren't overly fixated on weeds. One woman simply stated that she wasn't leaving and asked what time breakfast was, a curious complement. Several plants generated quite the buzz among visitors: our massive bald cypress, a very impressive weeping purple European beech, the fragrance of the sweet bay magnolia (in the early evening), and the foxtail lilies (nearly done). On the whole Mrs. Phactor was very gratified that her work and money was paying off. Our hard scape contractor's work generated considerable interest (hope we get a kick back!) since we let him display his sign. However, having chided my better half on being a bit too concerned about everything being just so, like how she got a contractor to finish a long over-due job by painting her fence the day before the tours, and then one of the first comments she got was how much someone loved her white fence. OK TPP lost that one, and it does look nice. Today the tour continues and it's supposed to hit 92 F. Yesterday evenings thunderstorms provided a nice watering, and today they generate some fantastic humidity. We'll provide some nice cool water for the thirsty visitors.