Like many of you, I’ve gone on numerous garden tours over the years and have often marveled at the seamless organization that makes a garden tour a success. Every detail is covered from selling the tickets, to producing brochures and maps, and ensuring everyone has a good time at each garden.
That said, I’ve been on several garden tours where I’ve been frustrated with a map that is hard to read, had difficulty finding the gardens because of a lack of signs, or visited a garden that did not offer water to quench my thirst on a hot summer day.
So what goes into a successful, well-executed garden tour? That is what I will attempt to outline in this section.
For any organization, putting together a garden tour involves commitment and a lot of work. It can be a daunting task for those who have done it before and know what they are doing. It can seem overwhelming for those who have never organized a garden tour before. In this new section, I want to give organizations a place to start. Of course there will be variations depending on the needs, resources and size of an organization or community. But this section will offer a structure of tasks that is common to all and lay the groundwork for what needs to be done.
I gathered this information from interviewing people who have extensive experience organizing garden tours for their organizations. I want to thank the following people for graciously sharing their knowledge with me:
Polly Shumaker of the South Church Congregational Church in Concord, New Hamphshire.
Mary Burke of the South Church, a Unitarian Universalist congregation in Portsmouth, New Hampshire
Gretchen Judd of the Peterborough Garden Club in New Hampshire