Image Abutilon hybrid (double pink)
Why does anyone open their garden to friends and strangers? The answer is not that straight forward. In our case it has been; because we were asked to, or because an organization we belonged to was fundraising, or to support other gardeners in a garden festival. This coming week we are open on Tuesday to the National Tour of Heritage Roses in Australia because we were happy to open our garden and especially the rose gardens for people of a similar interest.
They won't be at our garden for very long, and after providing them with lunch, we hope that they remember a favourite rose or at least a well made sandwich.
When we build gardens, we create not a snapshot 'picture' but a whole story written in the form, colour, scale and even scent of an artificial landscape. Most people love to visit other peoples homes and gardens to see how things are and perhaps make comparisons. However, without realising it , while walking around, hands behind the back and a critical eye garden visitors will be reading the story of a garden.
Some of us visit gardens to discover new and interesting species, but we all will leave with a sense of the place and it's story. Larger, established and complicated and even run down gardens will always give the visitor a more interesting story than a newly built , perhaps contrived and overmanaged garden.
Hopefully the story our garden tells to visitors is one of a cherished family space, full of variety and robust colour as a nod to the Victorian era and style. More art than science and more luck than good management.