From Anza Borrego Desert to the beaches at La Jolla, this is San Diego County’s garden tour season. This time of year, gardeners open their gates and invite the public in to enjoy the fruits (sometimes literally) of their labors.
If you love seeing what’s behind the gates, or are in search of practical solutions for your own garden, or are enthralled by other people’s imaginations, garden tours are for you – even if you don’t have a green thumb!
Being a garden tourist is great fun. Here’s how I make the most of the day
- My garden tour essentials include a wide-brim hat, comfy walking shoes, sunscreen, a big water bottle, along with both my phone/camera and a “real” camera.
- Gardeners love to talk about their gardens and their most recent fabulous plant finds, so ask lots of questions.
- Opening one’s garden to strangers is both exciting and a little unnerving. I always thank garden owners and leave each with a complement or two.
- I look for inspirational ideas and photograph them so I can look back at them later. I often notice details I hadn’t seen earlier.
- If a gardener offers me a cutting of a special plant, I arrange to return after the tour so other visitors don’t see me and think it is open season on the plants. I never pinch plant cuttings or take seeds without permission.
- I pay attention to the flow of visitors around me. If I want to take my time, make way. When I am short on time, I am careful to stay out of other visitors’ way as I speed through.
- I stay out of garden beds even if that’s where I see the best photo angle.
- When I might have children along or people with physical limitations, I always call ahead to make sure the gardens can accomodate them. When it comes to private gardens, some are, many are not.
- I leave my dog and other pets at home.
- I shoot lots photos, make new friends, and take home lots of inspiration – and you can too!