on garden visiting: ‘if only…’
SERIOUS GARDEN-VISITING SEASON KICKED OFF for me on Monday, meaning visitors besides the usual amphibian suspects like this guy who wait on the doorstep for me to come play each day. Them I can deal with, but the human types! Yikes. My brain spirals, and I keep hearing the same thought over and again in my head while walking guests around: If only you’d come last week (when the lilacs were still blooming). If only you’d come week after next (when the next wave of perennial geraniums and later alliums are happening, since all that’s happening now are faded early ones of each). Shoulda, coulda, woulda…if only. Seeing the holes, not the whole. Bad girl. And more visitors (you, maybe?) are coming soon. Uh-oh.
On June 14, I’m open for the 10th straight year as part of the Garden Conservancy’s national Open Days program, and though I do feel anxiety each time these days loom, I also love it. Just as each of us learns from visiting gardens, each of us who welcomes visitors learns from the experience. I am regularly startled to see where people wander and what they look at…things I never notice, vantage points I never explore. Gardens all over the country are open, so go visit one. Learn something, and leave some teaching of your own behind. Perhaps my friends the frogs will show you around personally, if they’re in the mood.