Nigel Nicolson (son of Vita Sackville-West and Harold Nicholson) 1993
Anyone who has shown their garden on a garden tour has uttered these very same words. The garden is never quite perfect no matter how hard you try to make it so. The gardener just has to relax and let nature unfold as it will, and they know that other gardeners will understand when you relate how you have been fighting with the quirrels to keep the plants in the containers. Or how you find your radishes all over the backyard, yanked out of the veggie garden, tasted and then spit out so you can't even enjoy them. And then the days you had planned to spend getting the garden absolutely perfect are gone or rather rained out by a deluge of rain. Relax, nature has it's own plans. So now we are on the week count-down to garden tour day. We have the hosts tour on Thursday night.
Those who will be out touring our gardens are sure to find lots to inspire them. When touring gardens you should keep these 5 tips in mind:
1. Remember you are touring someone's private sanctuary, so be respectful and don't step in the garden beds to check out a new plant and don't take any cuttings when the home owner isn't watching. Instead ask the gardener if you can purchase a cutting or have a piece next time they are dividing their perennials. Gardeners are a generous group and usually happy to share plants.
2. If you are taking pictures, ask first. Most gardeners are pleased to show off their gardens an happy to have you take photos. And iof you are using a tripod, don't put it in the beds.
3. Use the gardens for inspiration - look for new plant and colour combinations or a nifty new garden art idea you can recreate at home. Like the Pot Person I photographed in a Montreal garden.
4. Ask questions, the gardener is always eager to share their knowledge and swap tips and ideas, whether it is about new plants you see or a new technique that may improve your landscape.
5. Remember to thank your host. Gardeners go to a lot of work to make their garden available to the public and volunteer a day of their time, so tell them you appreciate it.
And lastly, if the garden has a guest book, please sign it. This is our third time participating in the Bracebridge Garden Tour and we love to see where people have come from to go on the tour. Then go back home and add a new idea or two you picked up on the tour in your own garden.