All About Garden Tours

All About Garden Tours

All About Garden Tours

Who can give a garden tour?

Any garden club, district, or council

Why give a garden tour?

*for fun and fellowship *to see the results of friends labor *for the educational value *to qualify for an award *to qualify for club rating award *to promote civic beauty

What different types of tours are possible?

*a tour of 5 or more member’s gardens, a fee may or may not be charged * a tour of member’s gardens accompanied by an accredited Landscape Design Consultants who will give constructive comments and answer questions at each garden. *a tour of member gardens accompanied by 3 accredited Landscape Design Consultants who will do a written evaluation; if qualifying high enough then the club may submit for one of the special awards provided by the FGCM using the State Scale of points or the scale specified by the award donor.

Note: Tours may be open to the public but this is not necessary to receive credit for the club rating but 5 or more member gardens are to be visited in one day to qualify for club rating .

How to Begin

*Select a date when tour gardens look their best *when LD Consultants are required check with your FGCM Tour Chair


How to begin cont.

to be sure that the date you have selected will not conflict with another tour, show, etc. (Note: many consultants are not available during the weekend) *determine which of the previously mentioned types of garden tours your club wishes to pursue. *choose those gardens which exhibit the greatest number of the following qualities: -excellence of design -horticultural perfection - sustained maintenance - functionally adapted to site and uses

What Makes a Great Garden Tour

A printed schedule (required when applying for a FGCM Award) should contain: * name of club sponsoring tour, name of chair and date of tour * gardens on tour with address and brief garden description (describe what visitors will see in the garden, style of garden, etc.) * arrange to have a club member meet and drive the LD Consultants to each garden *logical progression of garden touring from site to site * driver should not have own garden on tour, or listen in on evaluation by LD Consultants *evaluation is done during the club’s touring of the gardens *vary type of gardens on tour (formal, country, cottage, etc.) *signage with numbers prominently displayed to help find garden location *hostess in each garden *appropriate to offer refreshments in one garden to garden guest, especially drinks if warm weather *good member participation


Preparing a Book of Evidence What makes a great garden tour cont.

* tour coordinator should provide each garden owner with evaluation sheet to help them prepare for tour * LD Consultants do not accept a fee but mileage reimbursement , lunch, or refreshments are a welcomed courtesy

When Landscape Design Consultants are used:

*Select from a current list of accredited LD Consultants published in the Garden Forum in the odd years or obtain from the FGCM LD Chair, the FGCM Garden Tour Chair, or the FGCM LD Council Chair. * One panel of three LD Consultants is suggested for each five gardens toured. *If unable to schedule 3 LD Consultants, 1 Garden Study Consultant or 1 Flower Show Judge may be substituted to fill a panel. *When contacting LD Consultants, specify the following: - date, time, and address of place to meet to begin tour -contact person name, address, phone number, and e-mail -name of club or sponsored tour to be evaluated -type of tour to be evaluated (number of gardens) –will lunch or refreshments be offered *Confirm the above information in writing to each LD Consultant; include schedule and/or map of tour and list other LD Consultants participating. * When tour is part of a regular meeting schedule the business session so that it is completed prior to or following the tour, so that LD Consultants arrival or departure is not held up. * After evaluation is completed LD Consultants meet with each other to determine if club is eligible for award application. Afterward, the LD Consultant panel will give this result to tour contact and may meet with tour members and give evaluation of tour gardens, if requested. 3

Hints for the Garden Owner

Proper care and maintenance throughout the year is needed to keep a garden in the best condition, but careful grooming a few days before the garden tour will make your garden show its best. Following are a few hints to help you succeed in having a beautiful garden tour.

Last Minute Checks: - is lawn freshly mowed, edges trimmed with weeds removed along driveways, walks, and paths - are flower beds and borders groomed, and weed free with flowers deadheaded - have plants had a thorough watering to show a healthy appearance - are trees and shrubs properly pruned, with dead limbs and debris removed - are all tools and equipment stored out of sight, with clutter removed - are hardscape areas (walks, patios, etc.) clean and free of debris - are unusual or outstanding specimens labeled with botanical and common name - would an arrangement on a table or entry add to the beauty of your garden and welcome your guest - relax and enjoy the tour

What a Club Member Can do to Help

* help plan, work, and view the garden tour * if finances are needed for tour, help bring or collect items for white elephant sale; or have a boutique on a patio

Ways to Improve Your Own Garden *Enroll in a Landscape Design School *Visit public gardens for design inspiration and arboretums for horticultural knowledge *Tour gardens of other club members and of other clubs or organizations for ideas 4

What is Necessary for Garden Tour Credit for Club Ratings?

One Club Tour- a showing of a minimum of five member gardens with a majority of members participating.

Jointly Sponsored Tour – Tour of two or more clubs sponsor a showing of a minimum of seven member gardens with a majority of members from all clubs participating.

To be eligible for a blue/purple ribbon club rating all gardens must be toured on the same day for both types of tours.

How to Apply for a State Award

* Notify the FGCM Garden Tour Chair, at least 30 days prior to the tour * Include schedule of the tour with names & addresses of the 3 LD Consultants doing the evaluating (may substitute 1 Garden Study Judge or 1 Flower Show Judge along with 2 LD Consultants for panel) * The FGCM Garden Tour chair will appoint one of the LD Consultants as the coordinator of the tour and send her the necessary forms * LD Consultant evaluation scores will remain confidential, but if desired club may ask for recommendations from the LD Consultants * Non-member gardens may be included in tours but will not count as one of the required 5 or 7 club member gardens. All gardens must be toured in one day * Completed forms should be sent by the tour LD Consultant Coordinator to the FGCM Garden Tour Chair.

** Note: after the tour an application for the State Award written for Garden Tour must be completed by club & sent with required “Book of Evidence” to the State Awards Chair before December 1. Check Garden Club Manual for Garden Tour Awards available.


FGCM Evaluation Form for Garden Tour

Schedule (15 %)

Schedule with garden description/guide 5 Correct map showing gardens on tour 5 Logical progression from site to site 3 Refreshment location 2

Variety (30 %)

Types of gardens toured 10 Interesting or unusual plant material 10 Hardscape; permanent structures as 10 paths, patios, decks, & walls

Aesthetic & Maintenance (30 %)

Elements & Design Principles Used 20 (line, form, texture, color, pattern, scale, balance dominance, rhythm, contrast, accent, unity & proportion) Absence of insect or disease damage 2 Plant & hardscape grooming 8

Hospitality (15%)

Signs or garden numbers prominently 9 displayed for locating tour garden Hostess at each garden 3 Member participation/attendance 3

Overall Impression (10%) 10

Total 100 points


NGC LD Study Program Standards for Evaluating Landscape Design

First Impression (5%) 5

Suitability design to purpose (5%) 5

Design (45%) A. Functional Aspect 1. Suitability 5 2. Creation & utilization of space (including 15 circulation patterns, activities, rest area, etc.) B. Aesthetic Aspect 1. Design principles employed successfully 10 (proportion, scale, balance, dominance, rhythm & contrast) 2. Design elements applied successfully 10 3. Originality & distinction (including unusual 5 qualities, features, accents & enhancements. Successful solution of site problems.) Implementation (30%) A. Materials & structures 1. Suitability to purpose, site & design 15 2. Perfection of details 5 B. Plant Materials 10 Maintenance (10%) A. Incorporation of maintenance awareness 5 into design & selection of materials B. Current, sustained maintenance 5 Final Impression (5%) 5

Total 100 points


A Book of Evidence is the compilation of facts & information related to a project.

General Instructions

1. Construction of book should present an accurate picture of the Tour. Data should be brief, neat and concise. Material should be attached to pages and secured in lightweight, solid color folder with pockets. To the inside of the back cover, glue or staple a sturdy envelope which is at least 6” x 8” but no larger than 8” x 10”. A maximum of 12 pages, (using front and back of 6 sheets of paper is allowed). 2. DO NOT PLACE anything on the front cover of the folder. Instead indicate which awards you are applying for on the State application form which is printed in the fall issue of the Garden Forum. The completed application form should be attached to the inside of the front cover of the Book of Evidence with a paper clip for easy removal. 3. All script must be typed- using double or 1 ½ spacing. 4. Be BRIEF AND CONCISE! Organize your evidence in a logical manner. 5. Anyone applying for an award that may be submitted to NGC should contact the State Awards Chair for the proper Project application form.