Posted on October 17th, 2011 by Marilyn
Saturday 15th October dawned clear and sunny. I had marked the date as special for a long time. I was going to visit Bok Tower Gardens for their Boktoberfest celebration. Having been a fan of Bok Tower gardens for many years, and having visited at different times and in different seasons, this was the first time I had taken time off my work to go to the Boktoberfest and Plant Sale.
Reaching the entrance from the main road, I followed several cars through the main gate, and immediately saw signs for parking. Somewhat surprised by this I continued on along the long entrance driveway, past fruiting citrus groves , seeing yet more signs for parking and even stops for a shuttle. It was becoming obvious, even to me, that Bok Tower was expecting a lot of visitors.
Tentatively, I continued on, not really knowing what to expect, and was greeted by smiling traffic marshalls, indicating that I should park on the grassy bank beyond the normal car parking area. Happy to follow their instructions I parked and got out of the car. Looking around I was amazed at the numbers of people carrying plants, or walking among the display booths.
I walked down to where the booths were distributed and came to a stop at the first one ; there was a beautiful eye-catching shrub in its full glory right there in front of me. Chatting to a couple of bystanders, I found out that it would probably need a little more care than I would be able to give it, so I moved on .
I really should have brought a lot more money and some way of carrying plants, I realised, watching people who obviously knew more than me, rolling their little shopping trollies around, filled to the brim with their purchases. Passing many of the displays, I made a mental note to myself to get back to them later.
One of my gardening ambitions was to have an olive tree, and slowly, stopping every few feet to look at yet more exotic and beautifully displayed plants, I made my way to where the Olive Trees were for sale. Luckily I happened to get there just at the moment when the owner of the nursery was explaining to other purchasers how to care for their tree, so I shamelessly eavesdropped.
Having learned that if I bought my tree it really didn’t need a huge amount of care, I satisfied my desire and bought a four year old olive tree. As I was wondering how to carry it back to the car, a Boy Scout materialised at my side and made an offer I couldn’t refuse. Handing him my beloved tree, I led him back to the car where we were able to set it in the back safely. A couple of dollars tip and off he went to help other buyers.
I meandered back to the displays and flitted, like a butterfly , from booth to booth. I had such a great time, seeing plants I’d only read about, learning about them from experts., and buying some of them! Roses to herbs, exotics to orchids, bamboos to bonsai, everything was there for me to admire, and buy! It was so difficult to restrain myself.
Music started up from the bandstand, and I saw happy smiling faces everywhere. I met a gentleman with his little Peek-a-poo ( that’s a pekingnese/poodle mix) who had been trained as a Therapy Dog. All the children swarmed around that little pooch. More and more people were arriving. Boy Scouts were running errands back and forth. Folk were having fun.
Having completed my purchases, delighted with the items I had bought, I packed them into the car and made my way to the food and drink vendors for a well earned snack. Many people were by now sitting in the stands listening to some fabulous music, while for me, my morning was almost over, and it was time to head home.
Carefully, I drove back onto the exit road, while yet more visitors were still coming in to take advantage of the lovely weather and fantastic day out offered by Bok Tower. I shall be back later on this year, and again at Christmas , to visit Pinewood House, one of my Holiday traditions. And next year, there is a Winter Dog Day in the Park, and I’ll definitely be there with my little Jack Russell for that.
Thank you to everyone who made the day such a success for me, and see you soon.