Irises forum: Iris Etiquette

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Name: Arlyn
Whiteside County, Illinois (Zone 5a)
Irises Beekeeper Region: Illinois Celebrating Gardening: 2015
crowrita1
Aug 14, 2016 11:29 AM CST
I had something happen this spring, that, at the time didn't rate very much thought, but, it's been bouncing around in my head, ever since. What happened was, a "Display Garden Visitor".....whom I had never met before, and who had called to make an "appointment" to see the garden....was, to my way of thinking anyway, "over critical" of *almost* everything they saw....labels too hard to read, not enough "care" in keeping colors/ sizes separated, ...you name it, she commented on it. Anyway, here's some comments, that, I think *we* as gardeners, iris growers, traders, buyers, and even *hybridizers*....amateur or professional, might find interesting. If YOU have some to add, feel free, and, if you disagree with some, please tell me , "why".
FOR VISITORS
1)I know there are weeds, so don't point out every one I may have missed
2)Don't stomp through the beds, at least ASK first before you do it, if you want to take some pictures, please ask first.
3)DON'T PICK THE FLOWERS !! Again, if you *ask*, I *might* say yes Shrug! But, it *may* be my "Dykes Medal winning cross, that you just snapped off !!!
4)Don't "fondle" every blossom...yes, it has "wimpy substance"...you would too, if everyone who passed by rubbed YOU that way
5) Don't leave your empty water bottles (or any other trash, for that matter) laying around the yard...or, throw it out your car window as you drive away
6) A , "Thank You" WOULD be nice to hear, after all, I just "gave" you an hour (or more) of my time

FOR *HOSTS*
1) Let folks know the "bathroom arrangements " if not "your" bathroom, at least the closest public restroom.
2) Try to answer any questions WITHOUT appearing to be bothered by them ! The only 'stupid question" is the one that never gets asked !
3) if the "tour" is very long...have a few lawn chairs available....some folks need to "sit a spell", and a small cooler with some bottled water (or maybe a thermos of hot coffee, if the weather is chilly) is not really too much trouble to provide, either.

FOR "TRADERS"
1) find out "first" if it's a "trade" or a "for postage", be clear on what THEY expect, as well as what YOU expect
2)let the other party know when you mail the box....they have a little warning, that way !
3) let folks know when you GOT the box.....nobody wants to be wondering if it got lost in the system
4) Same thing for the postage reimbursement...let folks know that you received it ! And, for the "sender"....don't wait too long to get it in the mail...please !
5)don't include a bunch of "extras" WITHOUT discussing it FIRST ! I *may* only have room for the ones we talked about, and another half dozen cultivars might really be a case of "not a GIFT, but a BURDON !
6)A simple , "Thank You" is a phrase that CANNOT be "over used"... if they took the time to "share" with you, they deserve at LEAST that much .
7) make sure that the plants you send are "shipped the way they expect them to be shipped)...are you washing only ? dipping ? marked well enough to be read ? Is there a "packing list" included in the box ? That can really be a boon when trying to decipher writing on a shriveled leaf!
FOR BUYERS
1) Yeah, you are the customer, and the customer is always right !! NOPE, not really ! Are you SURE the "one that bloomed wrong" didn't get mixed up in YOUR garden ?
2)if the vendor HAS made an error, or , something else is troubling you about the order...TELL them, and give them a chance to address the problem....and do it in a "nice" manner!
3)And if the order was correct, the bonus' were nice, the service was good...tell them THAT, too ! A follow up e-mail, to let them know the order was received , and to thank them for any bonus plants...or good service when you changed the order three times, doesn't take much time out of your day!

I see it as a simple matter of both "common sense", and "good manners"
Name: Lyn Gerry
Watkins Glen, NY (Zone 6a)
Keeps Horses Vegetable Grower Organic Gardener Irises Permaculture Dog Lover
Image
LynNY
Aug 14, 2016 12:25 PM CST
crowrita1 said: I had something happen this spring, that, at the time didn't rate very much thought, but, it's been bouncing around in my head, ever since. What happened was, a "Display Garden Visitor".....whom I had never met before, and who had called to make an "appointment" to see the garden....was, to my way of thinking anyway, "over critical" of *almost* everything they saw....labels too hard to read, not enough "care" in keeping colors/ sizes separated, ...you name it, she commented on it. Anyway, here's some comments, that, I think *we* as gardeners, iris growers, traders, buyers, and even *hybridizers*....amateur or professional, might find interesting. If YOU have some to add, feel free, and, if you disagree with some, please tell me , "why".
FOR VISITORS
1)I know there are weeds, so don't point out every one I may have missed
2)Don't stomp through the beds, at least ASK first before you do it, if you want to take some pictures, please ask first.
3)DON'T PICK THE FLOWERS !! Again, if you *ask*, I *might* say yes Shrug! But, it *may* be my "Dykes Medal winning cross, that you just snapped off !!!
4)Don't "fondle" every blossom...yes, it has "wimpy substance"...you would too, if everyone who passed by rubbed YOU that way
5) Don't leave your empty water bottles (or any other trash, for that matter) laying around the yard...or, throw it out your car window as you drive away
6) A , "Thank You" WOULD be nice to hear, after all, I just "gave" you an hour (or more) of my time

FOR *HOSTS*
1) Let folks know the "bathroom arrangements " if not "your" bathroom, at least the closest public restroom.
2) Try to answer any questions WITHOUT appearing to be bothered by them ! The only 'stupid question" is the one that never gets asked !
3) if the "tour" is very long...have a few lawn chairs available....some folks need to "sit a spell", and a small cooler with some bottled water (or maybe a thermos of hot coffee, if the weather is chilly) is not really too much trouble to provide, either.

FOR "TRADERS"
1) find out "first" if it's a "trade" or a "for postage", be clear on what THEY expect, as well as what YOU expect
2)let the other party know when you mail the box....they have a little warning, that way !
3) let folks know when you GOT the box.....nobody wants to be wondering if it got lost in the system
4) Same thing for the postage reimbursement...let folks know that you received it ! And, for the "sender"....don't wait too long to get it in the mail...please !
5)don't include a bunch of "extras" WITHOUT discussing it FIRST ! I *may* only have room for the ones we talked about, and another half dozen cultivars might really be a case of "not a GIFT, but a BURDON !
6)A simple , "Thank You" is a phrase that CANNOT be "over used"... if they took the time to "share" with you, they deserve at LEAST that much .
7) make sure that the plants you send are "shipped the way they expect them to be shipped)...are you washing only ? dipping ? marked well enough to be read ? Is there a "packing list" included in the box ? That can really be a boon when trying to decipher writing on a shriveled leaf!
FOR BUYERS
1) Yeah, you are the customer, and the customer is always right !! NOPE, not really ! Are you SURE the "one that bloomed wrong" didn't get mixed up in YOUR garden ?
2)if the vendor HAS made an error, or , something else is troubling you about the order...TELL them, and give them a chance to address the problem....and do it in a "nice" manner!
3)And if the order was correct, the bonus' were nice, the service was good...tell them THAT, too ! A follow up e-mail, to let them know the order was received , and to thank them for any bonus plants...or good service when you changed the order three times, doesn't take much time out of your day!

I see it as a simple matter of both "common sense", and "good manners"


Sounds exhausting and fraught. I was tired just reading about it, Arlyn
Name: Gabriel/Gabe Rivera
Charlotte, NC (Zone 7b)
German imported, Michigan raised
Region: North Carolina Hostas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Dog Lover Garden Procrastinator Daylilies
Plant and/or Seed Trader Irises Container Gardener Region: United States of America Garden Ideas: Level 1
Image
Cuzz4short
Aug 14, 2016 12:27 PM CST
Preach!
Gimme it and I'll grow it!
Name: Bonnie Sojourner
Harris Brake Lake, Arkansas (Zone 7a)
Magnolia zone
Region: United States of America Region: Arkansas Master Gardener: Arkansas Irises Bulbs Seed Starter
Gardens in Buckets Garden Art Plant and/or Seed Trader Moon Gardener Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
grannysgarden
Aug 14, 2016 12:32 PM CST
All good points, Arlyn, I DO tell visitors with a smile the garden 'rules' and so far have never had an issue. No one but me digs in my beds.
No one but me picks blooms. Stay on the paths only. Do not touch the irises. And, I tell them why in a kind voice and a nice smile. I also tell them they are going to see weeds because I do not use chemicals and one person alone cannot control nature in the out of doors unless one lives in the out of doors. I tell them if weeds bother their sensitivity consider them herbs and keep it to themselves. Also, No one but me pulls weeds in my beds. I have had good intentioned visitors snap off the tops of nut grass and them I have a million coming up. No pets allowed. And do not pet or feed my pet if it is not secured away from the visitors. I always remark to a grandma who brings a small child.... 'this one must be a very good little person getting to tour a garden. He must know this is not a playground and to obey all the rules What a lucky grandparent you are to have such smart and well behaved youngster'. If youngster does not follow rules I suggest immediately to the adult that they view the garden from the seating areas.... with a smile.

I do have water and sitting areas for guests and the sitting areas are always swept off and comfortable. I have had some visitors remark that they cannot stand signs on plants and that it completely takes away from the garden feeling. I just smile. I have had people ask me how many irises I have anyway and why. I just smile. I love my garden and work very hard in it. It is a private garden and they are guests. Most of my visitors are great a few I would not have as a friend.

As a trader, and for postage person, I hope I have followed all the points you set out as they are good ones. However, I have added irises without thinking it could be a burden. Perhaps I should ask before I do that in the future. Good point. I would also ask that if a person does not receive a postage check from me that they let me know asap. I would be mortified to find that they were not reimbursed for their work and generosity. If having to prompt for a reimbursement is embarrassing to some, perhaps just letting the sender know that the check has arrived is good. I have neglected to do this. *Blush* That way if they do not get a msg that it has arrived they will know it has not?

I love my garden.... and Jesus, and coffee, and naps.......
Name: Sharlene
St. Gallen - Switzerland (Zone 6a)
Garden Ideas: Level 1
Image
sunnyvalley
Aug 14, 2016 1:16 PM CST
@crowrita1 I think you have made excellent points that should be common sense to all!

I might add that we have never had our garden on display to strangers so I cannot speak from personal experience but I don't think I would appreciate somebody criticizing our garden. Taste differ and there are so many different garden styles all having there own special appeal! Anyway, I was taught that if you cannot say anything nice, don't say anything at all!
BTW, there is one person who I accept criticism from - my mother! And only because most of what I know about gardening I learnt from her!!!
Name: Tom
Southern Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Irises Vegetable Grower Butterflies Region: Wisconsin Keeps Horses Cat Lover
Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry Daylilies Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
tveguy3
Aug 14, 2016 1:24 PM CST
Some good advice Arlyn and Bonnie some very polite ways to get your point across. Smiling I have violated some of the rules, like putting a for postage check aside and forgetting to cash it for a long time. or stuffing a box full of extras because I want to get my moneys worth on the flat rate box. Whistling I think most people expect a few extras and are good about telling me if they'd rather not have many or any. It's hard to know what to send people for extras though, as I don't always know what they have or want. I do keep files on all of the boxes I send, and what was in it, so I can TRY to avoid duplicating extras to some degree. Although I have somehow deleted a couple files by mistake and that is not nice. D'Oh!

The biggest problem I've had, and only once, but it's really annoying. I had a visitor come during bloom time and spend a lot of time listing all of the ones she wanted. We worked out what the price would be, and she was fine with it. It was a rather large order. Then I called her to set up a time for her to pick them up and pay for them. We set the date, I dug the irises and she never showed up. Called her back and she said she had an emergency and could she pick them up at a new time we agreed on. She never showed up, and then didn't answer calls from me after that. So now I've spent 3 hours digging, washing dipping, naming, irises, and have to go replant them all. I was not a happy camper.

One woman called at 9:00 at night to answer my Craig's list ad for irises. I think she was just a lonely, bi-polar person from Chicago who talked non stop about everything she had including about 6000 acres of land in Wisconsin. I couldn't get a word in edgewise, but finally I asked her what time she would like to come and get the irises. We set up a time and of course she never showed up. This one I never expected to see. Blinking There are some really different people in the world, and not all of them define "common sense" the same way Hilarious!
I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion. - Alexander the Great

Region: California Cat Lover Irises Enjoys or suffers hot summers Dog Lover
Image
iciris
Aug 14, 2016 2:07 PM CST
When I've sent extras I look at their want list (if they have one) in the database. If they have it listed as a want I assume they have room for it. That said, you know what they say about "assume". Whistling
I never mind bonus/extras, if I already have them, I can always plant or pot them and then re-gift them to someone else.

Region: California Cat Lover Irises Enjoys or suffers hot summers Dog Lover
Image
iciris
Aug 14, 2016 2:52 PM CST
I have a question for all of you who have or will send boxes. When posting the names of iris on threads, is it ok to state the person name who it came from vs an Iris buddy?
Name: Leslie
Durham, NC (Zone 8a)
Region: North Carolina Irises Cat Lover Garden Photography Enjoys or suffers hot summers Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
Lestv
Aug 14, 2016 5:18 PM CST
I really don't know the correct answer, but I do often mention who I get a box from unless they specifically ask me not to do so. I like to give props to people's generosity but also understand that sometimes it opens up the giver to getting unwanted requests from others wanting iris.
My road calls me, lures me west, east, south & north; most roads lead men homewards, my road leads me forth. - John Masefield
Name: Ivor
Middletown, DE (Zone 7a)
Irises Cat Lover Garden Photography Region: Delaware
Image
Islandview
Aug 14, 2016 5:40 PM CST
Arlyn, I was fascinated to read what you had to say about display gardens. It's a bit sad that visitors don't even know common courtesy to begin with but hopefully if they see what is expected of them in writing or somehow spelled out, they'll get the hints. I was interested because i recently joined a local iris society and in their newsletter there were some display gardens listed. I wasn't sure how this works. Does one make a cold call and ask to trod on their private property? One of the gardens near my place specializes in reblooming irises so I thought maybe in the fall, I'd give it a whirl and call her. By the way, how does an iris garden qualify to be a "display garden?"
Name: Gabriel/Gabe Rivera
Charlotte, NC (Zone 7b)
German imported, Michigan raised
Region: North Carolina Hostas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Dog Lover Garden Procrastinator Daylilies
Plant and/or Seed Trader Irises Container Gardener Region: United States of America Garden Ideas: Level 1
Image
Cuzz4short
Aug 14, 2016 7:16 PM CST
I think my water bottle was left on my tailgate when we visited Thelma's and I drove off forgetting it. Not on purpose though. So dehydrated I had to go to the store and get another.

I know there's a box I received out there and another that were very generous in offerings. Ill feel better next year when I can offer the same equally. But back to Les's point I'd rather not advertise. Now upon bloom those will definitely get recognition who were generous in shares and trades.

As for children, I had a talk with my nephew about touching the irises. I told him as the owner said, "your welcome to pull the daisies." Luckily he had toys and could care less about the blooms. Whew...
Gimme it and I'll grow it!
Name: Pam
Pennsylvania
Irises Keeps Horses Cat Lover Dog Lover Region: Pennsylvania
Image
Snork
Aug 14, 2016 8:15 PM CST
Great points Arlyn!

The most interesting comment that I heard this season was someone asking me "Would you like me to pull this thistle? You know they don't have thorns near the bottom?" I politely declined their assistance...

My two biggest pet peeves have been, as Bonnie and Tom mentioned poorly supervised little children and the occasional person who does not show up to pick up an order that I have dug, cleaned, trimmed and labeled for them.
Name: Darcy
Reno, NV (Zone 6b)
Image
djinnevada
Aug 14, 2016 9:41 PM CST
Arlyn,
I went on my first iris garden tour this spring, and would never have dreamed of picking/touching flowers. I can't imagine that someone would do that!!! However, as we walked through the garden (this was a group tour), I did see people walking through the beds to get photos even after we were asked not to do that because they were trying to hybridize some of the iris and wanted to make sure the didn't cross pollinate (or something like that). There were younger, healthier folks racing to the chairs that were placed throughout the garden, and there they sat 'till they were darn good and ready to get up (I was raised to always give my seat to an elder, not to mention pregnant ladies or those who had a little more trouble physically than me.) I'm finding that people seem to be getting more and more rude, inconsiderate and "deserving" - and that I want less and less to do with people as a whole. Good manners are going the way of the dinosaurs. Sorry to hear about your bad experience....I hope you confronted the flower picker and told them the flowers are $45 dollars each!!!
Name: Rj
Just S of the twin cities of M (Zone 4b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Plant Identifier
Image
crawgarden
Aug 14, 2016 9:48 PM CST
Any visitors that did the items stated would be gone...they have no manners or common sense.
Name: 🌺
(Zone 6b)
Image
SpringGreenThumb
Aug 14, 2016 10:28 PM CST
I might add...

Please be careful which visitors you say "Welcome" to. You might get your face ripped off if someone else in the tour already knows them.

That concludes my contribution because I have not yet gained enough "status" to join this lecture on garden etiquette. 🌺





[Last edited by SpringGreenThumb - Aug 15, 2016 1:54 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1243113 (15)
Name: Tom
Southern Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Irises Vegetable Grower Butterflies Region: Wisconsin Keeps Horses Cat Lover
Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry Daylilies Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
tveguy3
Aug 15, 2016 3:43 AM CST
The good news, at least here, is that these issues are not the majority, at least for me, but only a few. Most of the people who come to look at the blooms are polite and decent people. A couple of ladies who visited last year during bloom sent me the nicest card or thanks later. I even got a plate of cookies once from a visitor (an ATP member) a few years back. Also I have only been scammed once by an ATP/NGA person. I have learned that the people who only show up on here when it's time to divide irises and their first or second post is asking for irises, that they are most likely people looking for cheap or free irises to sell on E-bay for high prices.
I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion. - Alexander the Great
Name: John
Kansas City,MO (Zone 6a)
Region: Missouri Composter Enjoys or suffers cold winters Plays in the sandbox
Image
yadah_tyger
Aug 15, 2016 3:52 AM CST
Tom - Has the heat broke in your area? We finally got out of the mid 90's on Saturday and it has been quite pleasant. The next 10 days contain no more 90's and lows in the lower 60's. That was sure one miserable and long heat wave. We are still in need of rain pretty bad. When there is an extended period of no rain, how often do you water your plants?

Blessings
When they call the roll in the Senate, the Senators do not know whether to answer 'Present' or 'Not guilty.' Theodore Roosevelt
Name: Tom
Southern Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Irises Vegetable Grower Butterflies Region: Wisconsin Keeps Horses Cat Lover
Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry Daylilies Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
tveguy3
Aug 15, 2016 3:54 AM CST
We've had 3 days of cooler weather too. Nights in the 60's, it's been great!
I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion. - Alexander the Great
Name: John
Kansas City,MO (Zone 6a)
Region: Missouri Composter Enjoys or suffers cold winters Plays in the sandbox
Image
yadah_tyger
Aug 15, 2016 3:58 AM CST
Glad to hear it! It was so bad here that when I was sweating and I bent forward, my glasses would fall of. And it only took about an hour of working before the early signs of heat prostration would hit ( shaky legs). Hopefully we are past the worst part of Summer here.
When they call the roll in the Senate, the Senators do not know whether to answer 'Present' or 'Not guilty.' Theodore Roosevelt
Name: Sharlene
St. Gallen - Switzerland (Zone 6a)
Garden Ideas: Level 1
Image
sunnyvalley
Aug 15, 2016 4:07 AM CST
John, same here - really humid! If I bend over too long I land up with two little pools in my glasses! Dripping hot right now and it is only 30C!

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