Help us! We’ve just found out that our garden will be in our communities biggest garden tour. We’re flattered and a little scared. We’ve been other tours – backyard wildlife & sustainability theme groups. But, they were really nice folks, not self professed gardeners (maybe even master gardeners!). Any advice on how to prepare me and the garden? Have you even had critical folks – I’m not sure how I’ll take that as I think we have a bit (small) of paradise (just how we like it)?
By the way, your photos are spectacular and I’ve already decided to document the garden looking it’s best. Also, to take the next day off and enjoy all that preparation by just sitting and looking at it.
Sorry I didn’t see this question sooner…I was busy on the blog comments, I guess. Oops!
My advice: Do the detail stuff. I edge, mulch, and otherwise preen just before tours. Make a difference.
If certain areas are not “ready” yet and you can’t get to them, say so. I sometimes make it a point of interest to have a sign on a stake in those spots or a flyer at check-in saying “What’s going on here?” and detail projects-to-be-done-later, and invite their thoughts about what I’m planning.
Be available. I man my garden tours myself…I welcome each visitor, and tell them where I will be stationed when they wish to come back with questions. I answer every single one, even if it takes hours and hours.
When people arrive, suggest a route to view the garden via. I explain to each arriving group the basic course, and reassure them I’ll be there near the entrance when they are done (I don’t try to tour people around, as I think the welcoming/questions after is more important).
Wishing you every bit of success with the visits.
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Welcome! I’m Margaret Roach, a leading garden writer for 25 years—at ‘Martha Stewart Living,’ ‘Newsday,’ and in three books. I host a public-radio podcast; I also lecture, plus hold tours at my 2.3-acre Hudson Valley (NY) Zone 5B garden, and always say no to chemicals and yes to great plants.