Garden Etiquette for Visitors

caliloo(z6/7)January 1, 2013

This is a compilation of suggestions from several Garden Web Hosta Forum Regulars. I claim no responsibility to authorship, I was simply the vehicle to post these pearls of wisdom. If you read the forums regularly, I'm sure you will be able to guess the identity of several of the contributors.

Happy Hosta-ing!

********************************************************* Garden Etiquette

1. I did NOT invite you over to use my bathrom ... SO DO NOT ASK .... because i cleaned the garden for your visit, not the house... take care of this before you get here ... though obviously emergencies occur ...and dont stop at micky dee's to take care of it and then buy the 200 ounce pop because it is hot out there .... and then 2 hours later have to use the bathroom .... i will provide you with enough liquids to survive .... perhaps a tablespoon at a time ...

2. DO NOT walk in my garden beds, unless you have permission.

3. IGNORE the idiot dog, when standing near my beds .... to watch you turn him into a frothing love hound and rip up my labels and plants is truly disheartening ... we have the the middle of the lawn for that ...

4. Either bring a gift .... LIKE A HOSTA .. or any perennial .... or send a thank you note ... i did a lot of work for your visit ... and i want some afterglow ... a note a few days later .. usually gets you another invite w/o question ... and probably a hosta next time ... nothing pricey ... it is the gesture ... not the value ...

5. Leash your children if they are a problem [though they are usually not the children of hosta nuts ... these children have been taught the proper priorities] ... or bring something that will entertain them ... and dont rely on my dog to be the entertainment ... he is an idiot ... see above ....

6. Leash your uninterested significant other ... or insure they bring something to entertain themselves ... or better yet .. leave the uninterested at home ... i hate cutting short a tour with someone who is truly interested because they are distracted by someone else ... and suggest to them that if they have nothing nice to say ... they need not say anything ...

7. Do NOT resort to platitudes in describing the beauties before you. Also, PLEASE do NOT tell me how so-and-so's plants are doing better than mine, for whatever reason.

8. be on time .... i have waited and worked like a dog anticipating your visit .. have some respect ... and calling is not sufficient, because i will be out there an hour ahead sprucing up the garden waiting for you .... and i wont be near the phone ..... i will NOT be upset if there was an emergency ...

9. DO NOT try to surreptitiously purloin a piece of ANYTHING (with that plastic spoon hidden in your pocket) without asking my permission. If you ask nicely, I MAY give it to you-but on my terms.

10. if you can grow one better than me .... be prepared to discuss all variables in your success so that i may figure out what you are doing right that i am not

11. Amendment to #1 with relationship to #5 and #6. If you are going to stop at McDonalds on the way to my garden, leave the uninterested spouse and children there. We will all be happier that way.

12. Do NOT pull the plant marker out of the ground to read it easier, and if you must pull it out, PUT IT BACK WHERE YOU GOT IT FROM.


14. if you want the label in the picture .. i will gladly do it for you, and put it back where i want it ... they are placed in a certain manner .. so me and the dog know where to walk when you arent here ... moving them can lead to bloody feet for one or the other of us ... and so i know where the dormant plants are in spring ...

15. Never ask to trade me two undulata's for a plant I just gave my left arm and two grandchildren for.

16. Don't ever ask in front of my spouse "Whad'ya give for that one?"

17. No, that one will never be big enough to divide up and give away. If you really like it, I will tell you where to BUY it.

18. Yes, I am sure you would like some plants to get started since they are so expensive. I know, I because I bought most of mine.

19. No, That one won't get any bigger with more light and fertilizer, it is a mini....we like em' that size!

20. Yes, this is a lot of work and takes alot of time, but it keeps me out of the bars.... and I don't get a hangover from it....Occasionally slugs can be a headache, though.

21. Addendum to #1. I did NOT even invite you. You were here when I got home from work and said you didn't think I would mind, since you are related to so and so downtown, and they know me. I DO mind.

22. Addendum to #3. Leave YOUR idiot dog home. Don't tie a beagle on a 6 ft. lead to my gazebo to destroy my Blue Mammoth Hosta while you are on the other side of the house and your dog is going nuts because you just disappeared from his view!!

23. If you don't know a thing at all about Hosta, don't ask for an invite, and then view my Liberty Hosta, which was 6 eyes last year, and say.."Well, I have that one--but mine's huge!!"

24. Do NOT tell me what I "should" OR "shouldn't" do or plant. I love talking about my gardens when someone says "have you ever thought about..." because it's interesting to share ideas and experience. However, I garden for my own pleasure and appeal, so I don't really care if you find something not to your liking. And please don't ever say: You should plant some marigolds. (No, I should not...they don't happen to be a favorite of mine and your barrelful is utterly boring.) You should run those bricks farther down. (No, I want it to transition into a woodland path at this point and you don't even have a garden path, so just go sit down some place and get out of my sight for a while.) You should try some of that colored mulch...really brights up the place. (Are you crazy?...I've seen your yard)

25. And DON'T waste my precious TIME, having to explain the history of each and every HOSTA to YOU, only to tell ME that they LOOK ALL ALIKE.

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