Make the Most of that Garden Tour!

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Early summer means garden tour time! (Saturday, June 12th, I'll be attending The Enchanted Gardens Tour of Northwest Denver.) I've gone on many, many garden tours over the years and would like to share some tips on getting the most out of a garden tour:

The obvious:

1. Hat, sunscreen, and sunglasses. Sun exposure time can really sneak up on you, best to be prepared.

2. Water. Some sites provide cold drinks, others do not, and it's easy to get dehydrated.

3. Food. Time flies when you're having fun, so why waste it trying to track down some place to eat? Carry a light snack instead.

The practical:

1. Bring a good street map of the tour area. Tour maps are notoriously light on information and rarely to scale. A real map allows you to organize the tour sequence in a way that works best for you.

2. Park and walk. Often times several gardens are within a few blocks of each other - really no need to drive from site to site. Plus, you never know what you may discover along the way.

3. Better yet, ride your bike!

Extras that enhance your experience:

1. Bring a camera. I find that a camera makes me slow down and look at the details, even in a garden that doesn't capture my interest initially. Select a theme or two for your photographs for that day: flower portraits, container plantings, hardscape details (fences, arbors, retaining walls, etc), lifestyle/decorating ideas, etc., etc. It's always best to ask permission before taking photos --- especially of private spaces.

2. Plan to take a few notes. Plant names, plant combinations, a particular hardscape material (where to buy it!), color combinations, or the name of the designer/contractor will quickly fade from memory!

3. Garden tours can be a fun activity with a like-minded friend, spouse, or older (10+?) child, but large groups or very young children can make it difficult to stay focused on absorbing and learning from everything you see. (Know what your priorities are going into the activity.)

More Garden Tours to visit:

Saturday, June 19 - Jr. League of Fort Collins 28th Annual Garden Tour

Saturday, June 26th - 2010 Evergreen Garden Tour

Saturday, July 24th - Summit County Garden Club Annual Garden Tour

Did I miss anything?

Have fun!

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