Ever wonder how gardeners think we should act? Although, admittedly, this is just when invited into their own special world of the private garden. It is one of the most intimate glimpses into the gardener’s
soul, their own garden creation; so tread softly on our ego and don’t step on our prized collection of special plants so lovingly cultivated.
“So here for your review and critique is ‘The Etiquette of Visiting Gardens,’ the collective wisdom of our 200+ member gardening Yahoo group, compiled and published in our Hort Club newsletter in June of ’05. I didn’t know you guys back then or I’d have asked for your input, too. But now’s your chance.
* DON’T criticize – period. Whatever awful things you may think the gardener is doing, be a good guest and keep it to yourself.
* DON’T step in the garden, even if you think you know what you’re doing. Stay on the grass or on paths.
* DON’T do spontaneous weeding or deadheading — it can be taken by the host as a veiled criticism. We all share the impulse, but on the receiving end it’s not welcome, especially when it involves stepping into the border to do the clean-up chore.
* DO ask anything about the garden and the plants in it. Just ‘What’s that?’ or ‘Tell me about that plant’ are welcome openings for the gardener to expound.
* DO compliment the garden and/or thank the gardener for sharing it.”
Would I open my garden to the public? I would have before it disintegrated into the neglected present state. Although, truthfully, I have never thought out the ramifications of just anyone coming through my private and lovingly tended place, when the garden is worth showing. When I lived in the city I used have whole plants lifted from my front rock garden. That was something very disturbing. (ahem) I then invested in a front picket fence: Look, but don’t touch!