Whether it’s a group of friends coming over to the house for a garden party or a group of strangers with a common interest, when we open our garden to others we begin to analyze how they will feel about what we have created. Everything we have done by rote up until now goes through our most rigorous internal judgment. For some, this is as exciting as a surprise party. For many, this can take all the joy out of the moment. Either way, we have to go through these emotions before we learn to become comfortable in this situation.
Sharing your garden with others is important to the art of creating a garden. Can you imagine a world where artists were too shy to show their paintings or where musicians held back because they weren’t sure everyone would like their music? Look back at the last time you visited another garden and ask yourself how you felt about that garden. If you enjoy gardening, it is likely to be a positive memory. Why would we deny our fellow gardeners the joy of sharing our best ideas?
Opening my garden to others has always ended as a positive experience. Most visitors are generous and thankful and ready to tell you what they love most. We learn a lot by watching others pass through the work we have done. I still get nervous when I invite people over to my garden, but by the end of the day I think of those nerves as butterflies. I’ve learned to welcome the visitor and to let the butterflies flit and flutter and rise up through me in perfect formation.
Robb Rosser is a WSU-certified master gardener. Reach him at Write2Robb@aol.com