Hints For Gardeners

This is by no means a “must do” list, just some hints and suggestions to help the day run smoothly.

Welcome Table.  It is a good idea to have a “Welcome Table” set up in a prominent spot as you first enter the garden.  Here you can have information on the garden, entry forms for People’s Choice, list of other Open Gardens, collect entry fee etc.

  1. Tours.  Will you want to walk around with visitors or let them wander the garden themselves? 
  2. Photo Board/Album.  You may have photographs showing the development of your garden.  These can be displayed on a photo board or in an album for visitors to enjoy.
  3. Stalls.  You may wish to invite your favourite local charity to provide refreshments or set up a display or stall at your garden.
  4. Volunteers.  Try and enlist the help of some family or friends for the Open Days. You can’t be everywhere at once!
  5. Garden Notes.  A brief description of the garden, the inspiration behind its design, the names of some of the more unusual plants and any other interesting information could be supplied to visitors.  This will save you answering the same questions over and over again.  You will just need a few copies that can be re-used throughout the day.
  6. Pets.  If you have pets you may need to consider where they will be happiest with lots of strangers around.
  7. Security.  Ensure that sheds, garages and your home can be secured and any off limits areas are clearly signed and/or barricaded off.

Suggested Timetable

Two Weeks Before:

Plan how you are going to organize your Open Days.

Contact any helpers you will need and charities who will be involved.

Notify your neighbours.

Prune hedges if you wish to avoid the “just clipped look”.


One Week Before:

Prepare your photo board if you are having one.

Prepare and copy garden notes if using.

Prepare any other signs you may need in your garden.

Ensure off limits areas can be secured.

Make up a volunteer roster and contact helpers.


Two Days Before:

Mow lawns.

Establish location of welcome table and any charity stalls.


The Day Before:

Assemble all the items for your welcome table and have a dry run setting it up.

Put away any garden tools, hoses, toys etc.


The Morning of Your Opening:

Have a hearty breakfast.

Sweep paths and do a final check.

Erect signs/banners your signs.

Set up the welcome table.

Take a deep breath, smile and enjoy yourself!

Gardivalia Festival of Gardens
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