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Apr 30, 2012 12:52 PM CST
|I've always wanted to be included on a tour of local gardens, my daylily club asked me if I'd be interested this year. I was pleased as punch, but when I looked at how much work I'd have to do to get ready to show my yard/gardens to visitors I had to regretfully decline.
Just curious which folks here have had their gardens be part of a garden club tour? Did you enjoy it? Any regrets? I told the club I'd be interested next time (in 3 or 4 years), by then hopefully everything should be revamped. Things really start to fall apart when you've lived somewhere for 30 years and work fulltime. Not to mention my 8 mo. old pups that have no respect for my plants
Apr 30, 2012 2:24 PM CST
|Nope. I would NEVER open up my garden to garden tours. I have so many different levels and stairs. I know some people couldn't even get up those very steep steps up to the main part of my backyard. I don't have easily accessible to read tags either. Plus my paths are small and you have to step very carefully to get thru them. People are more than welcome to look at what they can see from the sidewalk as there are gardens way out in the front yard.|
Name: Dick Henley
Central Ohio (Zone 6a)
Apr 30, 2012 3:47 PM CST
|We were very excited with the possibility that our garden might be on tour when it was first announced that the National Convention would be in Columbus. Now we are glad it isn't. Too much work to live up to the expectations. We just are not up to that. The weeds would have been lovely, however.
Our garden is not very accessible either, and there would be parking problems. I will go enjoy other people's gardens. I have seen a couple that are on the tour and they are lovely.
Dick in Ohio
Apr 30, 2012 4:11 PM CST
|Two years ago I had a local garden club that wanted to come visit my garden. I worked really hard for two weeks getting ready for them. When the day of the visit arrived, it was one of the hottest days of the summer with warnings about air quality. I had 4-5 people show up. I knew at that time that I would not work that hard to have people visit again. Last year I had another garden club that wanted to visit during peak daylily time. I knew these people since I had been a guest speaker at one of their meetings and I knew them to be real gardeners. I did nothing extra for their visit and I thoroughly enjoyed then. They want to come again this summer. They were all respectful and didn't step into the beds (my husband know not to do this and he isn't a gardener), but stayed on the paths. I once was visiting on a pond tour and there was one house we visited that also had beautiful gardens. The visitors trampled flowers, stepping anywhere in order to get a better vies of the pond. I decided then that I would never be on a tour. I turned down a tour for a couple of years that would benefit the local library. The big difference is that real gardeners know what not to do when visiting another garden. Real gardeners understand if there are a few weeds and if everything isn't perfect.
Ann (farmerbell); TN
Apr 30, 2012 5:07 PM CST
|I've turned down the Master Gardeners and my local club because I knew I'd be a raging maniac trying to get everything just perfect. This year I finally agreed to open the garden for my club...but just the club members and families. It'll be June 10th, which will be hot and muggy. I have already become that raging maniac, who gets up and heads to the garden to water, or paint something, or move a plant. I figure the morning of the tour, I'll still be rearranging things. I have a small pond that needs to be cleaned soon, lattice that needs painting, and the list goes on. The only reason I'm going to be okay with all this is these are my club members who are also my friends. There are two other gardens on the tour.|
Apr 30, 2012 10:25 PM CST
|We became an AHS Display Garden in 2009. To be a display garden we had to meet certain requirements. One is having your garden fairly weed free (not weed free) and have your daylilies labeled with the daylily name and hybridizer. We have had the Master Gardeners here twice and will be coming again in June. One of the garden clubs came year before last. Other groups have come, too. We were on the AHS Region 5 Tour last June with over 200 people coming through the garden (not all at one time). We were on a pond tour several years ago and will be again the first Saturday in June. The National is coming to the greater Atlanta area in 2015, and we have applied to be a tour garden. Why? We really like to visit other people's gardens and know that others do also. We have our own standards for our garden whether we have tours or not. Yes, we have done special projects in our garden because it was going to be on a tour that we probably would not have done otherwise. Doing those little extras because our garden was on a tour is the incentive we needed to do something extra that we will be able to enjoy for years to come. For example, we had put in a dry creekbed by the little cabin built down in the back that our main daylily garden revolves around and is the name of our garden, Shady Rest Gardens. David had wanted to have flowing water from the start but I had discounted that idea as too much work and expense. After a few years of thinking about it and envisioning it, I decided that it was doable. We added a small pond and waterfall as part of the creekbed and now have over 70 feet of flowing water that is recirculated back up to the top of the creekbed. Yes, it was a lot of work. The rocks had to be taken out of the dry creekbed, the creekbed was dug out, then it was determined that too much clay had been removed,the soil level had to be brought back up, a liner was put down, more rocks were purchased and rocks were carefully placed over the liner, the small pond and waterfall were dug out, the waterfall was built, we had to purchase two pumps (one for the waterfall flowing into the small pond and one to recirculate the water to the top of the creekbed). Would we do it again? You bet! Would we do some things differently? You bet! Any changes/additions that we have made that may have come about as the result of a tour, we have benefited more than the ones who toured the garden. Our garden is not level. The beds are terraced much like Rita's. Some of the pathways between or around beds are narrow. I do have concerns that someone may fall, but we always forewarn people about the hilly terrain. I suppose the bottom line for us is that we want people to see the daylilies. That is why we became an AHS Display Garden. I like for the beds to be weed free. I don't want to see them and certainly don't want others to. Our place in NOT immaculate. It is too large to be. I don't really care whether someone dislikes the way we have done something in our garden. This is our garden, and it was made to suit us and not someone else. I am sounding defensive and have no reason to. I think that you have to reach the point that you are comfortable with your garden and not worry about what others think of it. A garden should reflect the personality of the gardener(s). Ours is everchanging. It will never be finished until my time is finished here. When we get tired of opening our garden, we will stop. Until that time comes, we will open it for groups and tours to come and enjoy the flowers. It is our opportunity to give back to others what has been given to us.
"Anything worth doing is worth overdoing"~~~David Bishop
May 1, 2012 4:37 AM CST
|Like others we are an AHS display garden and have been for many years. We have had many bus tours in years pass, we had six gardens in the area for people to visit, now there are only two in this part of region 14. After the regional meeting here in 2004 the other four gave it up for various reasons, the club folded and buses stopped touring this area. Now if I sound like I am depressed about this, I am not. I did not enjoy 50-60 people in the yard, all wanting to buy daylilies at the same time. This would happen three or four times per year durning bloom season.
With that said we are having the regional meeting here again in 2013 (Mobile Club) and we are about as ready now as we will be when the time comes. We are not over joyed about doing another regional, but its all part of supporting the region.
May 1, 2012 5:22 AM CST
|I am not an AHS display garden so I have never been asked but because my garden is so small I probably would decline. I am in a suburb also and I think our city would not be too keen on the idea either. I occasionally have visitors come who email in advance about wanting to visit and I do let them. However, because I have a small scale growers license and not a nursery license, technically I am not allowed to sell from my home. All my sales are supposed to be internet only.
May 1, 2012 5:37 AM CST
|What a great topic and it is fun to hear of your tales.|
I have a couple.
My garden is a cottage garden and certainly not weed free (think of the cobbler!). I am out on jobs making my clients gardens beautiful and weed free. One year, several years ago now, I got a call from a fellow gardener that Country Garden Magazine was in the area, with appt to shoot her gardens, and they had a cancellation. Would I be interested? "Heck, yes!" I answered and then thought how could I manage? Well, I decided to focus on daylilies. End of the season but something should be in bloom. I wanted examples to show off different styles of daylilies. 10. Well, they come at 7 AM in the morning! Nothing is open in my garden until the sun gets over the tall oak trees and warms up the area. And the night before it was below 50! Yikes!
They came, with ladders to stand on, and a big sheet thing (like an umbrella) and a grey/white umbrella the size of a market one - 10 ft across! We had to hold the tipping ladder while the photographer climbed up. We faked backgrounds by picking foliage and background colors and setting them out near the featured plant. I remember picking perilla which immediately went limp. Funny! Don't ever believe closeups in magazines!!!
Man did we clean for that day. In two days, 2 helpers. Biggest piece of advise for making your gardens look neat? EDGE the beds!
I have an open garden twice a year. Memorial Day Weekend when customers come to buy potted perennials, etc and then during daylily season. Heck if no one came and oohed and aahed over them, what's the sense in collecting them, right? Always found that they head right to whatever is in bloom, and they think a weed is just some special plant that hasn't bloomed yet! Cottage gardens can get away with that!
Another quick note - The mother robin was once like this - very friendly where we got to know one another over the internet. At the time, Allen and Carolyn, from Miss were the Journal editors, or were just about to be. They were headed up to New England and wanted to visit my gardens. This was in October. Well, NO ONE visits here after Aug (tired garden, tired gardener). And I was redoing - taking apart a complete big bed so everything was cut down for easy digging. Imagine their shocked faces when they did not see what they were used to seeing in my photos! Nothing was blooming, a complete garden in makeover and weeds that well, looked like weeds. They were used to year round, or almost year round color down where they lived.
We went looking for the local lighthouses instead. Had a great time. Nice people. Nice memories. But I will remember to warn southern visitors that we here in the north do not have show gardens in Oct!
More stories, please!
May 1, 2012 5:42 AM CST
Hemlady said:I am not an AHS display garden so I have never been asked but because my garden is so small I probably would decline. I am in a suburb also and I think our city would not be too keen on the idea either. I occasionally have visitors come who email in advance about wanting to visit and I do let them. However, because I have a small scale growers license and not a nursery license, technically I am not allowed to sell from my home. All my sales are supposed to be internet only.
Can you have yard sales? We can, twice a year. I literally have 'yard' sales!
May 1, 2012 5:44 AM CST
|Yes, in fact we have one coming up where our city allows you to have one for free, without purchasing a permit. Could sell them then I imagine. Thanks for the tip, forgot about yard sales.|
May 4, 2012 8:43 AM CST
|Here are some pictures that I took this morning of the flowing creekbed that we added for the Region 5 tour.|
"Anything worth doing is worth overdoing"~~~David Bishop
May 4, 2012 9:58 AM CST
|Especially love the shot with the ferns and daylilies on the edge of the creek!|
May 4, 2012 10:07 AM CST
|How stunningly beautiful! You have it landscaped so well, but still natural looking. I hope you have a bench somewhere nearby so you can sit and enjoy it.|
Ann (farmerbell); TN
May 4, 2012 10:42 AM CST
|Oh I just love that! LOVE it! You have done such a fantastic job there. Nothing like the sound of running water either.|
May 4, 2012 10:59 AM CST
|That's just beautiful!|
May 4, 2012 11:02 AM CST
|That looks wonderful, very natural like it has always been there. Did you do it yourselves or have someone do the work for you?|
If you want to be happy for a lifetime plant a garden!
Faith is the postage stamp on our prayers!
Betty MN Zone4 AHS member
May 4, 2012 11:02 AM CST
|Doris, it's magnificent.|
I admire folks who have their gardens on tour and who can put things together like bb and Doris. I don't have that talent.
May 4, 2012 11:21 AM CST
|LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the creekbed. You did an awesome job, it looks natural.|
May 4, 2012 11:39 AM CST
|I'm having creekbed jeaousy! I've wanted to set one up for a long time. I love seeing yours - it's beautiful!|