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Join the company in the backyard

“Company’s comin’!” When this shout sounds throughout our house, feet hit the floor and dirty socks are hurriedly picked up off the floor and shoved out of sight, piled-up dishes are taken from the kitchen sink and hidden in the dishwasher, and, if there’s time before the guests arrive, the week’s mail is removed from the dining table and a bouquet of some sort is found to put in its place.

A nice bouquet distracts the eye from the dust balls under the chairs and the scuff marks on the stairway. At least I hope so.

Well folks, next Sunday, June 24, company’s comin’!

Ironton In Bloom, Inc. is offering its fourth annual Over The Back Fence yard tour from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. and, if history repeats itself, more than 100 guests will be visiting our fair city, cruising our streets looking for the addresses of the 8 homes that are on display.

Personally, this is the fund-raising activity I like best. It is fun to plan, fun to meet the generous folks who are willing to open their back gates and invite folks in to see where they spend their spring and summer evenings and holidays.

It gives visitors an opportunity to acquire new and fresh ideas for planting and landscaping that they can take home and try in their own yards. Immediate friendships are formed as participants share their love of gardening, and their knowledge of what works in which spot, and what doesn’t.

If you have an interest in gardening or a love of homemaking that extends out your back door, by all means, don’t miss this tour. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased all this week from any Ironton In Bloom member, at Ironton’s Merle Norman Cosmetics or Weber’s Florists, at the ‘All That’ Shop in Coal Grove, or at the Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce office at South Point.

Tickets will also be available the day of the tour at the Lawrence County Museum, 501 Sixth St. This is where the tour starts and where maps, cold drinks and homemade cookies will be available to guests all afternoon.

In addition to the homes, the self-guided tour includes a warm welcome at Weber’s Florists’ newly enlarged business, as well as the Patio Garden at OSU where the gate is opened only for scheduled occasions and features all native-grown plants.

There will be Ironton in Bloom hosts to greet you at every stop.

Whether you are a participant in the tour or not, you can help out by being aware that the city IS expecting company. Put your best foot (well, yard) forward. Stand on your front sidewalk before you call it quits with your usual yard chores and look at your property from a visitor’s point of view.

Take a few extra minutes to deadhead your blossoms, spray those weeds that gather in the cracks of the sidewalk, sweep up grass clippings, look up and down your street and pick up any trash that might have been carelessly tossed to the curb on your block.

Ironton in Bloom is proud of its town. We’re excited about sharing it, and we hope you are too.

See you Sunday!


Judy Sanders is an Ironton resident and a volunteer with the Ironton In Bloom organization.