Living in a region that almost invented large-scale garden walks, and having worked on organizing and even hosting them…
I have a good and knowing perspective on what people face when hosting their gardens to the pubic. Having an open garden can be a scary thing for gardeners. They face comments both complimentary and sometimes unwelcome from visitors. But the excitement and privilege to participate always keeps them going.
Weather plays are large part in the jitters and insecurities. If it is too dry leading up to an event, at least watering the garden endlessly will get those plants blooming. That is what is occurring in our area.
The opposite is the case sometimes and severe storms can play havoc on gardens, flattening and destroying upright plantings. This is a tear-jerker for gardeners ready to present their gardens for public viewing. Occasionally, we might get insect infestations on susceptible plants. No one ever said gardening is easy or predictable.
Although visitors expect gardens to be picture perfect, a good majority of them will understand if weather made gardens a little less than perfect. They understand the work that went into making your garden beautiful, and appreciate all the attention to detail you showed. They come to get ideas too.
Some gardeners transform their landscape into a show garden, everything perfectly coiffed and positioned. You might find paid gardeners on staff, or a horticulturist roaming the grounds. Others have more relatable gardens in a natural state, one where we just might see them at work pruning and deadheading or putting the finishing touches on the garden last minute.
Some have the beauty of simplicity, some are collectors, while others have a proliferation of different plants. Garden tours come in all styles and there will be some that are “just your cup of tea.”
When asked to help a gardener plan and prepare, I will say… cut an edge to the bed and a fresh topping of mulch will make all the mess go away. It’s a cure-all for a tidy garden and instantly makes a garden look better. Don’t make major changes, save them for a year in advance. Purchase annuals to fill bare areas instead of a garden overhaul. Sweep the walkways. Simple suggestions, but all will make a huge difference.
I am off visiting gardens in Canada right now, but when I return, I will be helping the Lewiston Garden Club get ready to present the Lewiston GardenFest on June 20th and 21st. Gardens open to the public will greet the visitors.
Don’t miss … Lush Gardens of June Can Leave Gaps in the Garden on June 6th. It has a few tips that might interest you. Then a must see post, So You Want to Change Bloom Time on Your Perennials?, on June 8th. I will be back in no time, see you then…