I’ve noted earlier that organizing a local garden tour is a great way to meet your neighbors, and as I’m making final preparations for the tour this Sunday, it does feel like I have a new posse of local gardening pals who have my back in this venture and are offering to help. Though just prepping their gardens and welcoming tour-goers is help enough.
Also mentioned in that earlier post, having the “Less Lawn, More Life” theme gives the tour a purpose beyond the obvious oohs, aahs and neighborliness. I get to tout Less Lawn as a big, important trend and send people to the resources on the Lawn Reform Coalition’s website. And we get to brag that this is the first lawn-reduction-themed tour that we know of in the U.S. outside of California.
Then there’s the advantage of having a tour in early fall rather than the more typical spring timing, when gardens in Maryland are ablaze with blooming azaleas, tulips, and more-more-more. That’s all so distracting! Far better to show gardens after they’ve calmed down from their springtime orgies, so visitors might actually notice the less flashy but arguably more important plants – evergreens and groundcovers – and also the overall design. Not to mention that fall tours demonstrate to tour-goers that gardens can look terrific now and even later, and not just by potting up some mums (though I confess to having bought a few to get my garden ready for showtime).
Speaking of getting my own garden ready, all summer I’ve done nothing but water and weed and suddenly bam! Time to rearrange ground covers, add those mums, and mulch like crazy! Which mulch I actually bought, after discovering that the free local mulch had decomposed completely and now looks like dirt. But prettying up the garden for visitors is fun, and I’d forgotten that.
Fifteen gardens in historic Greenbelt, Maryland will be open Sunday, September 15 from 1 to 5 p.m. Thirteen of them are small townhouse gardens in the original New Deal-created town, now a co-op, and two are large gardens overlooking the town’s lake. More photos, plus descriptions and some plant IDs are all here (addresses will be added on the day of the tour). Tour-goers can also pick up a printed brochure at the Greenbelt Museum. The tour is FREE and all are welcome.