A couple of weeks ago, I hosted a small garden tour to a group of about 30 people. I’ve tried to avoid this sort of thing as I don’t think it is yet fit to be seen, even less so since the baby has come. There’s grass in the beds and large bare areas that are still not filled in. A lot of structural plants aren’t substantive enough to play their roles well. Also, it was just past the June peak where things need to be cut back—why couldn’t they have come 3 weeks ago?
Post June peak, textures are carrying the south borders.
But beyond perfectionism, I just don’t like having the garden chock-full of people. It’s almost claustrophobic. You can tell others feel this way too because when the group reached critical mass, they suddenly stopped moving around and funneled back out through the gate.
Also, there’s the anxiety that comes from your work being judged. Some people come into the garden and say “wow” and some come in and say “huh. This is nice I guess.” The latter thought keeps me up at night. In my hubristic quest for greatness, I want every single person that enters my garden to be smacked upside the head by how excellent it is. Granted, by this standard, no one anywhere would ever allow their garden to be shown. I try to strike a balance between my ambition and mental health by interpreting criticism as a guide for improvement.
Though, under all of it, I really don’t like the voyeuristic quality about property tours. (And, am I the only one disturbed by strangers walking through their property? It seems like the perfect way to case someone’s house.) To look into someone’s garden or someone’s house is to sneak an intimate view of a person’s life. Granted,this idea of soul-viewing will seem a bit much; it’s not like people are looking through my underwear drawer. Most tourists are just there to see something pretty. I think about my garden constantly, grow its plants from seed and spend years researching plants, looking for just the right ones. My tastes in plants and hard materials represent a confluence of interests. A look into someone’s garden can tell you someone’s life. Underwear is just underwear.