When Fine Gardening comes to town

When you get an email on Wednesday evening from a Fine Gardening Magazine* editor saying she’ll be in town and she likes your blog and would love to meet you and see your gardens, what do you do? Do you rub your hands together as you survey your perfect borders?

Or do you do what we did. Look at each other in shock. Wail, Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah! Then walk around your gardens together in a daze saying, Oh my god, oh my god! Thinking of all the things you need to fix, and fix now, because an editor from Fine Gardening Magazine wants to see your gardens.

And, unfortunately, Sunday doesn’t work for her and Friday is better and Friday is the day after tomorrow. Oh my god! Oh. My. God.

Do you then spend all of the Canada Day holiday planting and transplanting and weeding and deadheading and propping and mulching and generally fluffing, because an editor from Fine Gardening Magazine wants to see your gardens. Then do you, with all available hands on deck, continue the next morning, plus of course you have to clean the inside of the house, because the editor from Fine Gardening Magazine who wants to see your gardens might also need to use the bathroom.

Then you wait. With some wine chilling, and plans to feed the editor when she drops by to, well, you know. After a while waiting, you decide that the wine might as well be enjoyed while you’re waiting.

So when, after a glass or two, you get the call from the very nice but very overburdened editor saying that she’s had such a long day, what with travelling and visiting the Toronto Botanical Garden and Toronto Music Garden… that she just doesn’t think she could face the idea of leaving her hotel room now – Would you mind very much if she didn’t come? – you are able to say, with a benevolent glow: We understand completely.

And have another glass. Because, really, your gardens have never looked better. And, after all, you have an editor from Fine Gardening Magazine to thank for that!

*Note that one of this month’s cover stories is: Don’t be a slave to garden chores.


  1. Oh that was so well written! I could see it all so clearly. I'm glad you two started in on the wine! (I am sorry that you didn't get to show off your garden though.)

  2. What an enjoyable entry to read about–you guys are hilarious–but maybe a bit stressier to live. I was kind of thinking we might be heading to her not coming… but you're right, it was a great way to get everything ship-shape. Man, I should get such a call, lol! Love the * note, too!

  3. Oh, wow. That sucks! If the editor is a gardener he/she should know the work that goes into making a garden presentable and shouldn't have wasted your time if he/she wasn't 100% sure of making the visit.

    But at least you can know enjoy your presentable garden, right?

  4. Thanks for dropping by, everyone. We must be clear: the urge to splurge (effort-wise) was entirely our own, based on our own warped sense of inadequacy! We hope Fine Gardening won't mind our attempt to make a little lemonade out of the experience. And we really do believe that we came out winners from it all.

  5. I bet your garden is looking spectacular! Enjoy it, and take lots of pictures! I enjoy moments like that. They push you to do more and get things done that might otherwise have sat idle.Nothing like a deadline!

    What a compliment to get an email like that!

  6. There's nothing like expected company to stimulate diligence. I sometimes have to invite people to dinner so that I'll come in from the garden and do some housecleaning! (Although, if the weather cooperates, we can eat out on the deck. But, as you point out, they might actually need to use the bathroom.) I really enjoyed your account of this almost visit. -Jean

  7. Laura, Lucy and Allan, I think the hoped-for visit had more to do with proximity (she was headed for Toronto to do some stories) than the quality of our gardens, which are modest in the extreme. It would have been great to meet up, but I can understand (looking at her overstuffed agenda) why it didn't happen.

    Jean, I agree completely about having-people-over syndrome. That's why I host our book club every month… to force myself to tidy!

    And yes, Ms. S., it was very much worth the effort. As Diana said, now we get to enjoy it all summer.

    Yvonne and Tatyana, Glad you enjoyed our account.

    Aren't we silly? Gardeners and garden shame! We could probably write a book on it.

  8. I think I would have a coronary, it's taken me 4 months to get ready for a big garden tour this week, with only short notice I would say just tidy the edges and give her more wine!

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