Garden Tour Season


Fickle_hill1Is it garden tour season where you live?  Here in Humboldt County, our biggest annual garden tour didn’t take place this year because the organization that puts it on decided to take a break and focus on some other priorities.  I can’t blame them, but I missed the opportunity to go check out gardens around town.

Garden tours bring out the best and the worst in gardeners: envy, snobbishness, criticism, even petty theft, combined with the general gloriousness of spending a day with like-minded people in gardens that you don’t have to weed or care for.

So post a comment and let us know what’s going on, garden tour-wise, in your neck of the woods. Are the gardens interesting or merely expensive?  Are they stuffed full of blooming annuals purchased at the garden center the week before? Or are they just far, far better tended than your garden will ever be?

And are you seeing more vegetable gardens and backyard livestock this year?

One interesting event coming up in our community: an arts organization is holding a fundraiser in which plein air artists will set up their easels and paint in a large and  impressive garden for a day.  There are any number of plein air organizations around the country that hold "paint outs" in which artists set up their easels in scenic areas around town and sell wet paintings on the spot.  I think it’s a glorious idea — people get to see artists at work and buy something very fresh and of the moment.  I’ve always thought this would be the perfect thing to add to a garden tour. It would give the non-gardeners something to do, it would bring an artsy crowd out to a garden tour they might not otherwise attend, and it would be a great way for painters to build their audience.

So I’m excited about this event.  I’ll report back on it.  if there are any interesting variations like this happening on garden tours where you live, let us know about it.


  1. We tried this two years ago with Garden Walk Buffalo. Two watercolor groups, including the local plein air group, were invited to paint during the Walk. The artists preferred to come a week before to paint, without the crowds. We thought it was a natural too. They never contacted us to do it again. We thought it would be especially beneficial since we also reach out to the art community each year for artwork for our poster.

    I’ll be curious to hear what happens at your event. It sounds like a great time. It’s not often you get to see artists actually creating.

  2. This weekend in Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties will be the tour of the winners of the Water-Smart Gardening Contest….AND it’s my birthday too! So guess what I’m doing???
    What a great idea- I’m looking forward to gathering ideas for my garden which is longing to be the lush English garden style, but almost burned up from our drought…can I get the best of both worlds PLEASE?!

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