There are few things as daunting…or as humbling…as allowing your garden to be on a garden tour. For the second time in as many years I signed my garden up to be part of the Gardening with the Masters Tour. This year it will take place on July 18-19…rain or shine. So now that it is very close to show time all I can do is hold my breath, pray for sun, and ruminate on what I learned from doing this.
Well, the most important thing is to have a sustainable garden which means that unless winter and spring weather is a disaster (it was close this year), and the local critters band together to launch an assault on your property, and insects and fungi rain down without mercy you won’t have to replace all of your plants.
Yes, all gardeners fall in love with some plant or plants that really don’t belong in a Rhode Island garden and for these it is all worth the struggle. (Well, maybe not if you ever saw what it takes to keep the hybrid tea roses looking presentable.) But then I realized how planting for sustainability allows me to work with, not against, nature and the environment so the work load is lighter, the stress level is reduced, and my expenses are down.
I also learned that being on a garden tour is about having an opportunity to talk with your garden visitors and provide a valuable learning experience. Sure, it was a lot of work to prepare the garden…but when the folks arrive and you see the smiles on their faces and get a chance to hear their thoughts and answer their questions the sun shines on all Master Gardeners…rain or shine.