Garden Tours and Garden Walks Are Coming

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Living in a region that almost invented large-scale garden walks, and having worked on organizing and even hosting them…

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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…

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About Garden Walk Garden Talk

I love to photograph, paint, draw, design, garden, travel the world, and pass on a few tips and ideas that I learned through experience as a Master Gardener and architect. I am highly trained in my field and enjoy my work each and every day. I garden in Niagara Falls, NY in zone 6-B. Find me at: http://gardenwalkgardentalk.com
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10 Responses to Garden Tours and Garden Walks Are Coming

  1. People who are going to show their gardens on garden walks are usually scrambling at the last minute to weed and do many of the tasks you suggested. It’s like cleaning the house right before company comes. For my online magazine, I often have to preview a garden walk, and that means asking to visit a garden a week or more before the actual event. I’m always gratified when a gardener consents to have me visit so far in advance. Of course, whenever I visit, they generally say, “You should have been here last week” or “You should be here next week” when it will look even better. I’ve had gardeners say both things on the same visit! And yet, their garden always looks good to me!

  2. Those are all good suggestions for preparing to show a garden in a garden walk. I have been lucky in that the three times I have showed our garden I have only received positive feedback – though perhaps some people have been critical but not to my face.

  3. So you are at the fling? Part of all four of my open house sales is allowing customers to tour my gardens. I do most of the work in the fall and only need to do a few touch ups in the spring. However, if my garden is on an official tour I do feel it needs to be in great shape.

  4. Timely article for me, Donna, as I am just preparing my garden for the Monroe County Garden Tour. You give great advice and reassurance! P. x

  5. Andrea says:

    Oh how i wish i am in the vicinity! And i love that cute bridge at the end, i have been contemplating on doing something like that for a long time.

  6. what a great opportunity!

  7. An absolute delight to see – every image is a beauty! I’m not a gardener nor a visitor of garden walks, but I love viewing and reading your blog, Donna!

  8. Your advice is good even for those of us who have neglected our gardens and are trying to get them to look somewhat wonderful and less messy!

  9. Eulalia says:

    beautiful pictures, gorgeus gardens

  10. A.M.B. says:

    Gorgeous pictures! I love all of the whimsical elements.

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