This past Saturday, I had the pleasure of speaking to a friendly crowed of enthusiastic gardeners at the Park Seed open house in Greenwood, SC. This event is an annual pilgrimage for many that attend and now I see why.
I imagine on any given day of the year, the grounds of their corporate headquarters would be spectacular, but I can’t imagine it looking any better than on the day of the open house, when several thousand people arrive to acres of fabulous display gardens, educational lectures and great deals on plants!
I realize that not everyone in attendance is there by choice. There are plenty of spouses and kids, likely dragged along by their gardening spouse or parent. But what I found after simply observing and talking to many of the attendees, was that even the non-gardening spouses and reluctant teenagers, were having a great time.
And why not? Being surrounded by beautiful gardens, friendly people (gardeners always are) and a festive atmosphere, with plenty to eat and drink and lots of shady trees to relax under for a bit of rest from the warmth of this bright sunny day, can work wonders on even the most rebellious souls.
No doubt, days like the open house at Park Seed are a great way for gardeners to sharpen their skills. Hundreds of display beds and containers set up with the latest and greatest plants, all in full bloom and perfectly healthy, provides the perfect opportunity to see these plants in their natural environment, and gives us gardeners hope that these plants really do grow like the ones we see in the pictures!
And for those non-gardeners that happened to have the good fortune to be dragged along…well, I didn’t see anyone complaining. Gardens seem to possess a magical way about them, one that seems to disarm or relieve the tension in just about everyone I’ve ever known. Come to think of it, some people are like that too. In fact, most of them are gardeners. Imagine that. Today was a great example of both.