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Is Autumn a time for visiting gardens?


Tatroe Godwattery

I think sometimes we Americans take cuccooning a bit too far! You have to call friends ahead of time before you visit nowadays (was I the only one whose family would "drop in" on friends growing up?) preferably we make arrangements weeks in advance, we are so important you know...The Europeans believe in visiting one another unannounced. In Britain visiting gardens has been raised to a high art. You can buy a garden visit book at any newstand by the National Garden scheme (http://www.ngs.org.uk/) with descriptions and dates where you can visit over 3600 gardens during the garden year. This charity thereby raises enormous sums to support worthy causes.

We have a similar organization. The Garden Conservancy was designed to preserve great gardens across America. This year Denver Botanic Gardens is helping support the autumn garden tours sponsored by GC: these include Randy and Marcia Tatroe's "Godwottery" in Centennial, Dan Johnson's Englewood extravaganza, the Mentor's expansive garden in Greenwood Village, Rob Proctor and David Macke's famous garden in Denver and Ann Weckbaugh's Denver jewlbox garden: these are among the most ambitious and accomplished gardens in our region. Check further details at: http://gardenconservancy.org/events.pl?ID=268

Take look around your garden and see if you could host a tour this autumn: if not, sign up for this tour: you can get tips on how to get your garden up to speed! More importantly, you can have an enchanting day in our most equable and wonderful season. Also, the night before the tour there will be a talks by the designers of these gardens and Lauren Springer Ogden.

Who says autumn isn't for gardens?




Any more 'free' days at the Gardens in 2009?
Lauren Ogden

Thanks so much, Panayoti, for getting the word out on these events. The whole idea behind this garden tour and the speaking event is to raise awareness of what a fantastic gardening season autumn is here on the Front Range. We truly have some of the best (albeit at times short) falls in the world. I'd like to add, however, that your sniping at people who don't gladly open their gardens to all people at all times is getting a bit tiresome, I've read it twice now in separate venues. Not everyone has your open, extroverted, center-of-attention temperament. Some of us find dealing with people we don't know very energy consuming. Our gardens are our private havens where we can feel free to be ourselves, and we may only want to share those with people we are close with, and even with those, only when we have the time and inclination. And your stuff about Europeans always opening their gardens at any time is hogwash. Of course they do for you, you are an international star. I spent 16 summers of my life in Austria, southern Germany, and France, and lived and worked for close to a year in Ireland and Great Britain. No one ever came to a garden unannounced in all my experience. Europeans are very aware of privacy and intrusion and boundaries. You always call ahead, and you always write a thankyou. And in many cultures, you never call those people by their first name, not for years. Americans can be too friendly, and it is often shallow and meaningless. I'm all for hard-won real friendship and trust. Love, your pal Lauren.
Panayoti Kelaidis

I stand happily corrected, Lauren: you may find this hard to believe, but you were NOT the reason I (consciously anyway) have been writing about drop in gardening. We Southern Europeans are undeniably more brash: I like to think we've thoroughly polluted American folkways, but alas, our job is incomplete! I give it up: I will henceforward no longer continue my stealth campaign to have everyone drop in simultaneously one everyone else's garden...

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