Garden Etiquette

Garden Etiquette:

When visiting either someone’s garden or a public garden there are courtesies that should be obeyed.
  1. One should leave the garden as one found it.

    1. Offering to pull weeds in a stranger’s garden is not only an insult but those weeds may be the owner’s cherished companion plants.

    2. Dead-heading the iris is not appropriate. The gardener may have made crosses on those spent flowers or may be saving seed for a seed exchange.

    3. Digging from a clump even if it is large is stealing. If one is with a group asking for a start is inappropriate because everyone in the group might like one also.

  2. Be cautious to do little damage

    1. Large purses, camera bags, and blousy clothing can often swing out of control damaging a display of stalks.

    2. Paths are meant to stay on, trekking into beds for that perfect picture compacts the soil. Try using a telephoto lens for the out of reach flowers

    3. Dogs and other pets are generally a no-no. An animal lifting its leg on a favorite plant can be quite distressing to an owner.

    4. Keep your children in control, Grandmother may appreciate their picking a bouquet for her, but later garden visitors would have liked to see those flowers also.

  3. In private gardens remember you are a guest.

    1. Be gracious and compliment the host on their gardens best qualities, No one wants to hear how you grow it better.

    2. Ask permission before taking photographs. The hosts will be flattered but perhaps not amused if they find these images of their home and/or garden in a magazine or posted on the internet, especially with a weed sticking up in between irises that could have been pulled at the time.

    3. Do not remove plant markers in order to read them. Invariably, a label will break when you try to put it back. Bend down to read markers.

    4. Unless it is an absolute emergency, do not ask to use the bathroom. This is a garden, not a rest stop.

    5. Adhere to the schedule. If the garden is open from noon to 4:00 pm, do not show up at 11:30 trying to beat the crowd while the host is running around trying to get everything ready. Nor do you show up at 10 to four and expect to take an hour to view the garden.

    6. No smoking, Not only may it be offensive to your host. Tobacco Mosaic Virus can infect Irises.

  4. Before dropping in to private gardens, call to see if they are open and available. The more notice the better.

    1. If you are coming with a tour bus, make sure there can be parking, or arrangement made ahead for transportation from a parking area.

    2. If you have special needs, ask whether the garden is wheelchair assessable or can be negotiated with your limitations.

These are just a few that readily come to mind. Unfortunately I have probably experienced all of them.

-- BobPries - 2013-12-03

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Topic revision: 03 Dec 2013, BobPries
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