Garden Etiquette

ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5December 14, 2012

from the FAQ page .... for you newbies ... ken

Garden Etiquette

1. I did NOT invite you over to use my bathroom ... SO DO NOT ASK .... because i cleaned the garden for your visit, not the house... take care of this before you get here ... though obviously emergencies occur ...and dont stop at micky dee's to take care of it and then buy the 200 ounce pop because it is hot out there .... and then 2 hours later have to use the bathroom .... i will provide you with enough liquids to survive .... perhaps a tablespoon at a time ...

2. DO NOT walk in my garden beds, unless you have permission.

3. IGNORE the idiot dog, when standing near my beds .... to watch you turn him into a frothing love hound and rip up my labels and plants is truly disheartening ... we have the the middle of the lawn for that ...

4. Either bring a gift .... LIKE A HOSTA .. or any perennial .... or send a thank you note ... i did a lot of work for your visit ... and i want some afterglow ... a note a few days later .. usually gets you another invite w/o question ... and probably a hosta next time ... nothing pricey ... it is the gesture ... not the value ...

5. Leash your children if they are a problem [though they are usually not the children of hosta nuts ... these children have been taught the proper priorities] ... or bring something that will entertain them ... and dont rely on my dog to be the entertainment ... he is an idiot ... see above ....

6. Leash your uninterested significant other ... or insure they bring something to entertain themselves ... or better yet .. leave the uninterested at home ... i hate cutting short a tour with someone who is truly interested because they are distracted by someone else ... and suggest to them that if they have nothing nice to say ... they need not say anything ...

7. Do NOT resort to platitudes in describing the beauties before you. Also, PLEASE do NOT tell me how so-and-so's plants are doing better than mine, for whatever reason.

8. be on time .... i have waited and worked like a dog anticipating your visit .. have some respect ... and calling is not sufficient, because i will be out there an hour ahead sprucing up the garden waiting for you .... and i wont be near the phone ..... i will NOT be upset if there was an emergency ...

9. DO NOT try to surreptitiously purloin a piece of ANYTHING (with that plastic spoon hidden in your pocket) without asking my permission. If you ask nicely, I MAY give it to you-but on my terms.

10. if you can grow one better than me .... be prepared to discuss all variables in your success so that i may figure out what you are doing right that i am not

11. Amendment to #1 with relationship to #5 and #6. If you are going to stop at McDonalds on the way to my garden, leave the uninterested spouse and children there. We will all be happier that way.

12. Do NOT pull the plant marker out of the ground to read it easier, and if you must pull it out, PUT IT BACK WHERE YOU GOT IT FROM.


14. if you want the label in the picture .. i will gladly do it for you, and put it back where i want it ... they are placed in a certain manner .. so me and the dog know where to walk when you arent here ... moving them can lead to bloody feet for one or the other of us ... and so i know where the dormant plants are in spring ...

15. Never ask to trade me two undulata's for a plant I just gave my left arm and two grandchildren for.

16. Don't ever ask in front of my spouse "Whad'ya give for that one?"

17. No, that one will never be big enough to divide up and give away. If you really like it, I will tell you where to BUY it.

18. Yes, I am sure you would like some plants to get started since they are so expensive. I know, I because I bought most of mine.

19. No, That one won't get any bigger with more light and fertilizer, it is a mini....we like em' that size!

20. Yes, this is a lot of work and takes alot of time, but it keeps me out of the bars.... and I don't get a hangover from it....Occasionally slugs can be a headache, though.

21. Addendum to #1. I did NOT even invite you. You were here when I got home from work and said you didn't think I would mind, since you are related to so and so downtown, and they know me. I DO mind.

22. Addendum to #3. Leave YOUR idiot dog home. Don't tie a beagle on a 6 ft. lead to my gazebo to destroy my Blue Mammoth Hosta while you are on the other side of the house and your dog is going nuts because you just disappeared from his view!!

23. If you don't know a thing at all about Hosta, don't ask for an invite, and then view my Liberty Hosta, which was 6 eyes last year, and say.."Well, I have that one--but mine's huge!!"

24. Do NOT tell me what I "should" OR "shouldn't" do or plant. I love talking about my gardens when someone says "have you ever thought about..." because it's interesting to share ideas and experience. However, I garden for my own pleasure and appeal, so I don't really care if you find something not to your liking. And please don't ever say: You should plant some marigolds. (No, I should not...they don't happen to be a favorite of mine and your barrelful is utterly boring.) You should run those bricks farther down. (No, I want it to transition into a woodland path at this point and you don't even have a garden path, so just go sit down some place and get out of my sight for a while.) You should try some of that colored mulch...really brights up the place. (Are you crazy?...I've seen your yard)

25. And DON'T waste my precious TIME, having to explain the history of each and every HOSTA to YOU, only to tell ME that they LOOK ALL ALIKE.

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Steve Massachusetts Zone 5b

I'll be right over. Where's your bathroom again?


    Bookmark   December 14, 2012 at 6:22PM
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donrawson(Z 5)

26. Don't come to tour the gardens if it's raining like crazy? Maybe pick a better day...LOL, Don

    Bookmark   December 14, 2012 at 7:19PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

for men ...

out behind the row of green giants .. i dont want to see it


but i dont care what the neighbors see. . lol

    Bookmark   December 14, 2012 at 7:20PM
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bernd ny zone5

I thought to let the guys do it on your compost piles.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2012 at 7:41AM
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ken- and you told me 'I' have a lot of grass? lol
Certainly I would never tell you that you need more gardens and Les lawn. :)


    Bookmark   December 15, 2012 at 11:48AM
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My goodness Ken ! How much of a lot do you have ? Besides the large lawns and the beautiful trees and the hosta , when do you have time to shop for more? Or is this what winter is all about? Beautiful( I would really not want anyone pee on my compost pile or my trees either. :))

    Bookmark   December 15, 2012 at 1:33PM
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jan_on zone 5b

Ken - I love the thin conifer standing like an exclamation point to the right in that last picture.What is it? How old? How tall will it get?(Can I get a piece if I bring my own shovel - oh, sorry, reread the

    Bookmark   December 15, 2012 at 2:00PM
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tsugajunkie z5 SE WI

Dang, I knew there was something I was supposed to read before seeing your place.

The last pic looks like some folks didn't make it to the arbs and did a number on your pine instead- lol (thunbergii in spring, I trust?).


    Bookmark   December 17, 2012 at 6:57PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

my yard is 500 feet square.. aka 5 acres ...

no more shopping.. budget ran out ...

but i used to live in suburbia.. where i did run out of grass ...

the yellow upright is juniper gold cone.. and it has a second name.. which escapes me right now ... absolutely stunning in spring ...

junkie.. you brought beer.. you make your own rules.. lol .. and the browned tree is mini mounds.. which i suggested was a better version of thunderhead ... the pic is from 2009.. i dont recall why it burned like that ...


    Bookmark   December 17, 2012 at 7:36PM
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haha if somebody (male) wants to pee on the edge of my woods, I say do it. Keeps the deer guessing! Just don't let anybody see you!

    Bookmark   December 17, 2012 at 7:55PM
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We give a lot of tours (ummm, garden walks?) here, several a month in season, and it always amazes me how tardy most folk are. In the bigger picture, folk in general don't seem to be as 'prompt' as I was taught to be, ESPECIALLY Doctors and Dentists n so forth, as regards my appointment with THEM.


I still find I like and enjoy the visitors anyway. Guess we're awfully lonely out here in the sticks, teehee,


    Bookmark   December 18, 2012 at 12:22AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

but hillbilly.. do you let them in the house???

i suppose with your operation.. you have a chem potty hanging around ...

yeah.. i enjoy them too .. its for the glory ... the friendship.. etc ..

there are idiots everywhere.. and unfortunately.. we spend more time witching about them.. rather than remember all the good folks ... who all kinda just blend together.. in the glow of friendship ... in the garden ..

i am sorta waxing poetic ... better find something else to do .. before i break down and cry.. lol ... [that will be next week when the kids are home from school.. lol]


    Bookmark   December 18, 2012 at 8:10AM
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Having toured hundreds of different gardens worldwide for the past 50 years and Ken's gardens at both sites, I respect his requests more than he will know!

Thanks again Ken for all your garden hospitality over the years!

I do like when people are driving by on a long distance trip and recall your name/garden and spontaneously call for a driving break! They may use my potty, refresh and get garden inspired while knowing they only have a short time to visit.

What probably bugged me the most about my garden visitors over the years was a couple visiting my Delaware garden that was more in awe and wonder about the wood pile design of my three year firewood supply which ringed my garden beds; who designed the "wooden wall", how did they build it etc.

We heated our home with wood at the time and had plenty of wood to build walls or piles as we called them.

My 3 sons purposely stacked it crooked to get their Dad mad, but that wall/pile did have some artistic flair!

Back in the 1980's we had a family situation where a garden visitor liked a plant in my Mom's garden enough to come back after a tour and steal it later that evening. He was too obvious as to his desire for a piece of the plant while she had not decided to give any away yet.

Someone who will remain unnamed went over the next day to visit the "inappropriate" hosta collector and threatened that if Pauline's plant wasn't returned by the next morning there would be a murder in the greater Detroit hosta society history, this one related to a stolen hosta clump.

The threat was sufficient that the clump (one of her seedlings) was returned promptly. Funny how word got around not to steal any of Pauline's plants!


    Bookmark   December 18, 2012 at 10:42PM
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gogirlterri(5 IL)

Ken, your Garden Etiquette sounds sexist to me. What am I to do if I visit your garden? Do ladies NOT have a need to pee?

    Bookmark   December 19, 2012 at 9:25AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

oh i dont know..

woman are usually smart enough to take care of such things in advance..

its the guys who are idiots ... and think.. oh.. a tree line.. outta sight.. outta mind..

like we all dont know what the heck your are doing back there ... crimminey .. are you 3 years old ...

the worst was the rural cow inseminator ... i say .. give me a minute to tell wifey you are coming in.. and he looks at me like i am insane.. and says.. what the heck for.. you have a polebarn ... apparently.. when you do what they do ... with a plastic glove that fits to your shoulder ... and cows do what they do in barns.. then a polebarn is just a large toilet ... needless to say.. i was.. and to this day am.. horrified ... he was back out.. faster than i could stop blabbering.. but.. but.. but..


    Bookmark   December 19, 2012 at 1:20PM
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gogirlterri(5 IL)

Theresa LOL

    Bookmark   December 19, 2012 at 8:40PM
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jan_on zone 5b

Please clarify - Ken -- you have all those hostas and all those conifers, and COWS TOO??? What else have I missed? (I do remember a pic of a small pig in the sand box.)

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 11:21AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

no.. he was a hosta friend .. way back when.. one of the first to try to do TC at home ... once he succeeded.. he was done with it.. lol .. said it was a PIA ... since he had no interest in selling.. or having hundreds of one kind ..

and no ....i do NOT have cows ... lol .. MOOOO!!!!


    Bookmark   December 22, 2012 at 11:37AM
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And I thought I was the only one who thought that way about people who stopped over to see my gardens. How about the hill billy toothless woman who wanted me to give her a shovel so she could help herself to whatever she wanted from my beds? She ignorantly wandered all over my private yards like it was a nursery, with no regard to my privacy. I closed up shop after that one!

    Bookmark   December 31, 2012 at 12:55PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

can i still bump this one


    Bookmark   June 17, 2013 at 6:54PM
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Ken, you forget to warn people NOT to wear golf shoes!

    Bookmark   June 17, 2013 at 7:40PM
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Linda's Garden z6 Utah

5 Acres? Wow! Is it all perfectly landscaped?

Seriously, If I bring the beer, can I use the bathroom?

Linda :)

    Bookmark   June 17, 2013 at 8:45PM
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ademink(z5a-5b Indianapolis)

yes, you can. i just gave a way a bunch of perennials that had self-sowed, etc..did i meantion GAVE AWAY??? you wouldn't believe how many people asked me if i would divide my hostas for them.



    Bookmark   June 17, 2013 at 10:19PM
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paula_b_gardener 5b_ON(5b)

Love this just as much as when I read it the first time!

    Bookmark   June 18, 2013 at 12:41AM
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I read it before, makes more sense now....except for the part about the polebarn and the cows.....

Wish we could get some parts of the FAQs for this forum updated. A lot of good stuff in these archives. Who?.....

    Bookmark   June 18, 2013 at 1:11AM
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josephines123 z5 ON Canada

Read the garden etiquette and laughed till I cried!!!!! So funny and sooooo true! My o my, what a gorgeous environment you live in Ken...but...don't you need some hosta in those beds too??? Lol

    Bookmark   June 18, 2013 at 1:18PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

oh crikey moc..

he peed in my barn like a cow.. since that is what a cow does in a barn...

thank god he didnt have to do anything else..

geez.. try to be delicate.. and she forces me to just say it.. lol ..

no.. i dont have a cow... i have a barn that the prior owner had horses in.. took 5 years to get rid of the smell ... do i have to tell what it smelled like.. lol ... the backend of a horse.. crikey woman.. lol..


    Bookmark   June 18, 2013 at 7:30PM
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paula_b_gardener 5b_ON(5b)

Well, that just goes to show that being delicate just isn't you.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2013 at 10:00PM
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paula_b_gardener 5b_ON(5b)

Well, that just goes to show that being delicate just isn't you.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2013 at 10:03PM
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Gawd, I love this forum!

    Bookmark   June 19, 2013 at 1:53PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

since visiting time will be coming up .. sooner or later..

perhaps a refresher course on attending a garden ..


    Bookmark   March 16, 2014 at 7:41PM
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Oh my, I'd forgotten my input here....(blush)
And now I have two little neighbors who view my garden from outside the back chainlink, and I caught "the look" last time they asked if the hosta were about to wake up.....yeah, you guessed it, the look said TIME TO DIVIDE!

Nope. They won't come out and ASK, because they sell their plants. And the hosta (one each) they have came from the Big Box Store, on sale, and shipping on mine is the least expensive thing about them all. (I am giving them my WalMart saucered pots though.)

    Bookmark   March 16, 2014 at 9:49PM
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paula_b_gardener 5b_ON(5b)

Soon, hopefully soon I can come out of hibernation and be able to 'use' the garden etiquette :)

    Bookmark   March 16, 2014 at 10:10PM
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jadie88(7 MD)

Another bump!

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 8:30PM
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bragu_DSM 5

Did I miss the number which asks visitors to bring steak for the barbie?

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 9:27PM
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Mocc, your last post on this thread was great! I am still laughing!

LOL No charge for the pots? LMAO!!

Don B.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 9:51PM
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bragu_DSM 5

32. Be prepared to become garden mulch/fertilizer if things go awry.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2014 at 9:58AM
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gardens1(5b ON)

I have enjoyed most of my garden guests, but did have one group last year that I found annoying. I gave precise driving instructions, including saying that there is a large wooden planter box mounted behind our mailbox, with an egg for sale sign hung below, and this is the only such place on at least a ten mile stretch of highway. When the group came, they were 30 to 40 minutes late (which I didn't really mind, I still had garden things to do), hurried their visit through in perhaps 15 minutes as they had thought of another place they would like to check out as well, and complained that they had a hard time finding the place. However, my largest peeve, is we have occasionally had people come in to buy eggs, driven past the house out to the barn, and walked in the barn looking for eggs. I mean, we sell free range eggs, that simply means the hens are not caged, and can scratch in the dirt and manure, eat grass/weeds and insects. It does NOT mean that you go freely into our barn and outbuildings, looking to help yourself! In particular, this past winter we had someone drive past the house, across the yard where the snow had not been cleared for days, went to the barn looking for eggs, then tried to turn his car around, got off the harder packed area, and got stuck in the lawn,, leaving ruts. That one was choice. Personally, I don't care if it is a barn, it is a breach of my privacy if you drive past the house and go walking in the barn without my permission. Most of our egg customers are great, and appreciate that we have it set up with packaged eggs on a shelf in the 'back room', with a container for the money, and can get their eggs anytime, whether or not we are home. And the garden guests that do appreciate your time and effort make it all worthwhile.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2014 at 1:03PM
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bragu_DSM 5


    Bookmark   May 22, 2014 at 6:34PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

its touring season ...

time to bump this one up ...

be a good guest ... lol


    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 9:19AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

something to think about ... while your inner voice complains about change


    Bookmark   February 11, 2015 at 9:46AM
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