Everyone loves to visit gardens. A visit to a beautiful garden is one of the highlights of summer. However, for the gardener-host it can be a living nightmare. Some visitors seem to leave their good manners at the garden gate and launch a full scale invasion - poaching pollen, snapping scapes, grinding greenery underfoot, etc. This type of visitor the host can do without!

There are a few common courtesies the garden visitor should remember and exercise BEFORE and DURING a visit to a garden of a old friend, a new acquaintance or a stranger. The common courtesy rules of garden visiting are simple:

  • Call ahead. Check with the gardener BEFORE entering the garden. Never visit a garden without the host's permission!
  • Stay on the garden pathways. Do not step into beds.
  • Refrain from touching blooms, scapes, greenery in general, garden ornaments and moving plant markers.
  • DO NOT take pollen, seed pods or cuttings without permission. Ask first the majority of gardeners are happy to share.
  • Photograph only with the host's permission. Be aware of your location when photographing in the garden. Leave bulky equipment (tripods, large camera bags, etc) in the car or at home, it can create havoc in a garden. Use a monopode if necessary.
  • Leave your pets and unruly children at home.