do you knock on peoples door?

lettssee(z7 Mid-Atlantic)May 31, 2004

Have you ever driven/walked past someones house and wanted to see thier gardens, or wondered about a plant they have growing? Have you ever knocked?

I seem to have made it a habit. I have knocked on several doors to ask about plants that are growing in thier yard, even went into a dentists office to ask if they knew what was growing outside. I have talked to people getting into thier cars to say how wonderful thier gardens are. You know that once these people get past the 'crazy woman coming' look they are very nice and most have been very into gardening and some have even offered part of the plants in question.

There are still many doors that I see everyday that I would like to knock on but don't.

What do you do?

What would you do if someone knocked on your door?


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manure_queen(md 7)

Yes , I do knock on doors. That is how I got started trading plants. Several years ago, I did iris trades in this manner, Only one of the many persons said no. All others were very willing to share. I still do this now when ever I travel. I must say my daughter does not appreciate when I knock on her neighbors' doors to ask for seeds, but I do it anyway.
Meet a whole lot of nice folks in this manner. Most gardeners are willing to share.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2004 at 12:33PM
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marozeckinj(SJ/PA zone 7)

Guilty also. Being the lazy person that I am if I see something I like it is far easier to just ask than to look it up! As a bonus you usually get a tour since most gardeners are very proud of their work and are more than happy to share. I have gotten a great deal of plants/seeds this way and have tried plants I never would have tried.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2004 at 5:48PM
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cfmuehling(7b DC/MD burbs)

I laughed when I saw this.
I actually knocked the 1st time to ask what somethig was and ended up with a shovel tour and a car full of plants. That was my first year, which was last year.

Now I'm not shy about it. I'd also love to share with anyone who wants anything! :)


    Bookmark   June 18, 2004 at 11:48AM
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My kids are always saying, "Mom there's a lady/man standing out front staring at our house." I usually go out and invite them up into the garden. I love to talk about plants and often share. I am not shy about asking others about their plants. It's how I learn.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2004 at 6:59AM
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- Oh, not me, i am WAY to shy for that. But good for you. i must say, i would be simply delighted if someone knocked on my door and wanted a closer look at my gardens - and would certainly want to bring a shovel and dig some plants up for them!
- Happy gardening,

    Bookmark   July 8, 2004 at 11:54AM
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mymacca(z6 SE PA)

I don't usually knock on doors, but I did once.

There is a house in my neighborhood where the folks obviously don't garden, but they have a large healthy yellow decidious azalea plunked in the middle of their dry clay sunny grass lawn that is just stunning each spring!

I stopped and knocked one day to ask for permission to look for seed pods on it. The door was answered by a fella who looked slightly perturbed as I explained that I lived in the neighborhood and drove by his house every day, admiring the azalea.

"Oh OK"...he says, "Just go help yourself OK? I'm watching the game. I thought you were gonna complain about my grass being too high!" :)

No luck with the seeds though. Anyone have any tips?


    Bookmark   July 9, 2004 at 1:04AM
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lettssee(z7 Mid-Atlantic)

I am glad you all posted, now I have a list of houses to stop at. LOL.
I met a lady out here at a side of the road sale. we started talking plants and she invited me to her house. now i am like to plant santa. I keep stopping by when i have something more to share that she doesn't have and leave it on her door step if she is not home. I love to see other peoples gardens. It gives me lots of ideas - even when thier gardens are a different style than mine. When you get to see them up close (not creeping by in the car) you see all the little things that make gardens so special. I love the excitement that people have over plants growing and blooming. I am excited just to see a seed sprout (although many don't make it to maturity). You all are always welcome to stop by my gardens and walk around with a shovel and some nippers.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2004 at 8:48AM
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Mandyvilla(7a No.VA)

I would go ballistic if I saw someone walking around my yard with a shovel and nippers!

Now to answer your original question...there is one house in town that I have admired for the past couple of years. It's on a main road, so I would have to pull off the main road right into their driveway (as opposed to walking around a corner). Anyway, I keep telling myself I am going to send them a note telling them that I have admired their garden for years and would love to see it up close. So what do you think....if I get up the nerve, give my phone number or email address? (postage paid return envelope, lol). Maybe that will be my goal this year. Suz

    Bookmark   March 8, 2005 at 8:22PM
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Not quite. But I live on a circle where the houses are old (1898 through the early 1900s), and all have a good bit of land for this area. One home has about 150 feet of frontage with solid packed hedge of old roses exuberantly blooming in mostly shade in early June. Last year I decide that I'd get a picture of this incredible site, and while I was lining up shots and clicking away, I noticed the owner in the yard. She was very far away, but I waved and she waved back. Then she walked out to the road to say hello. Since I walk by often and had never seen her before I was effusive about her property and explained why I was there with my camera. 'Want one?' she said. Ok! :)

    Bookmark   March 13, 2005 at 4:55PM
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slubberdegulion(z7 VA)

I wish! I can only admire your bravery, I'm way to shy to knock on a door. (But once I start talking, look out!) There are only a few gardeners around me (sigh...) and I only talk to one when I see her outside.

The only house I'd LIKE to get up the nerve to visit has a gorgeous and large bushy plant that I'm convinced is a pomegranite, which is marginal at best here. They never do anything to it and it looks fabulous. The people are never outside (and I've walked by their house enough times to be suspicious, so I know).

Maybe I can work up to it this year. I just think about how much I hate being bothered and back off. It's always when I've just made some tea and gotten back into a good book. Not that a gardener's visit would be upsetting, just embarrassing, I mean look at this place! :)

    Bookmark   March 13, 2005 at 9:58PM
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I'm way too shy for knocking on people's doors, but wouldn't mind at all if someone knocked on mine. Of course, I live at the end of a dead end street with very little traffic in the first place, so the chances of that happening are slim to none.

Besides, there aren't any houses in this area that have anything amounting to a "garden". Generally a couple of azaleas in neon pink, some sort of ubiquitous evergreen tortured into various shapes, and some liriope with copious amounts of mulch between all the plants. The price you pay for living amongst McMansions on postage stamp size lots.


    Bookmark   March 15, 2005 at 11:00AM
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lettssee(z7 Mid-Atlantic)

I would definitely stop and knock anywhere! I look out at my gardens at times and think 'what a mess I really need to clean or weed or whatever' but if someone comes by and looks at my garden and has some appreciation for gardening then they will understand that not everyday is a perfect day in the garden. I think someone stopping by to appreciate my hard work would make me happy. I always get to look at my garden not everyone else has that opportunity. I wouldn't walk into someone elses garden with a shovel and nippers without being invited to do so. Most people are very happy to share. People who garden realize the cost of gardening and are usually more than happy to share with you. Who knows what will happen next thing you know you may have an on-going swapping relationship with this person. I have a couple of those relationships with people that don't come to GW. It's quite nice the things you learn from people and even though the people on GW are wonderful, friendly and knowlegdable there are so many more gardeners out there and all we have to do is reach out to them and they may become GWers too!

    Bookmark   March 20, 2005 at 8:16PM
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sjkosko(z7 DC)

I've only done it a few times, and the last time was just after moving into a new house where my neighbor had a lovely (city) herb garden. Turned out the lady was an older women, lived alone, thrilled to chat.

For the entire year I rented that house after that, I would often come home to a plastic bag of herbs or veggies hanging on my door knob. There was even a pie and a bottle of wine at Christmas! :)

I returned the favor often with the little potted bits I would grow... and barrels of mint, which had evidentally replaced the lawn years before.

So go for it! :)

    Bookmark   April 27, 2005 at 12:43PM
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We have a ton of dog walkers, stroller pushers, and runners on my street (we live out at the end of a loop so it's quiet and a good place for walking). I spent many evenings last spring/summer digging up chunks of the lawn to put in plants, and many of the walkers stopped for a minute to chat. It was nice, because I got to meet a lot of neighbors (and their dogs!) and take a little break from digging.

If you're not sure about knocking, keep an eye out when you go by, and if someone is out in the yard or driveway, stop for a minute and say hello. Less nerve-wracking than knocking on a door.

If you do knock on the door, the people will probably be so thrilled that you're not selling anything that they'll be glad to talk to you! I have to knock on doors as part of my job (NOT selling anything), as soon as people realize that I'm not selling anything, 99% of them are happy to talk to me. So take a deep breath, and knock!

If there is a local garden club, go to a meeting, you may see a familiar face there, and can talk to them about their garden in a comfortable setting..


    Bookmark   March 30, 2007 at 12:19PM
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shady_lady(zone 7 - MD)

I've had people stop by my garden and ask when I'm out in the dirt digging. I may approach people under the same circumstances too. Occasionally you get a good tip or two and can pass on one yourself, so it is neat.

No one has gone so far as to knock, and I'm pretty shy about just asking that way myself. There are very few gardeners in my development - it's all townhomes and tiny yards to begin with. But the few who have expressed an interest generally wind up with extras of the plants I was digging up at the moment.

And there is one yard I've seen from the trails near my home while riding my bike. It looks beautiful, but it's in the backyard and I've never seen the owner out. I would be tempted to bug them for a better look!

    Bookmark   April 10, 2007 at 2:23PM
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I do not go around knocking on doors for fear of meeting undesirable people. However after reading your post, I found that there are many friendly people around who would not mind chatting with a fellow green thumb. I will be sure to try it out sometime too.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2011 at 4:31AM
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