Organizing a Garden Tour

Organizing a Garden Tour
I’m pleased to introduce another new section to Garden Tours New England: Organizing a Garden Tour.

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

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