The Rampaging Hordes are Here!

By which I mean we’re open to the public now which is always a bit of a shock. There I am muddling along by myself and all of a sudden there are people trying to get into the off-limits areas and asking me questions and saying ‘when you’ve done that you can come and do mine! ha ha ha’ (if I had a penny…). I like having the public in, mostly because it’s always pleasant to have people complimenting you on your work. No-one ever walks up behind someone typing an email and says ‘lovely formatting you’ve got there’ but I regularly get complimented on my mowing. Which is nice.

It does mean I have to change the way I do things though and it takes a few days to get into the swing of it. Here are a few of the things I have to remind myself about:

1) Don’t swear out loud. Especially not during lunch break with colleagues in the Tea Room.

2) Don’t leave tools lying around. It’s bad Elf&Safety at the best of times, but if a small child amputates its nose with your secateurs you’ll have to buy a new pair and that’s just annoying.

3) Avoid using the ride-on lawnmower while the public are in. Sometimes this is not possible because the weather’s been unco-operative or time is short for some reason (like bank holidays). I like to avoid it though because it’s noisy and I prefer the garden to be quiet and calm wherever possible. Also I’ve had badly supervised children play ‘chicken’ with my mower which is not good for my nerves. I’m less strict about keeping the walk-behind mowers in the shed because there’s only so much that can be done between the grass drying and the public being given entry, besides people seem to like my traditional looking Atco mower, especially men of a certain age.

4) No noisy things at all during weddings. Usually I hide in one of the private gardens so as not to spoil anyone’s special day with my scruffy hide. As weddings get more and more frequent this requires better planning. For example this week I was caught out by needing to sweep the courtyard with my Big Sweeping Device and forgetting that doing it on the morning of a wedding is deeply inconvenient as the florists and others will need access.

5) Try not to let your scruffy hide be too horrendously scruffy. And remember to wear name badge.

6) Don’t walk around with earphones in the whole time. Yes, Radio 4 is addictive but it makes you seem unavailable.

7) Stop talking to yourself out loud.

Have I forgotten anything?



6 responses to “The Rampaging Hordes are Here!

  1. Very funny, Libby – though actually I quite often complement people on their formatting. These are great tips as, while I work totally alone at the moment, we might be opening for the NGS. Chatting away to myself – check, earphones – check, scruffy – check, noisy equipment – check. The only one you haven’t mentioned is singing very loudly (and badly). I’m not really sure how I’d cope with visitors; skulk in a large shrub muttering obscenities, I suspect. Dave p.s. I have no idea what a Big Sweeping Device is – but I want one.

    • Ah yes singing. I never do that, honest. I whistle a lot though, badly too for extra irritation factor.

      My Big Sweeping Device is a motorised broom thingy for sweeping the cobblestone courtyard. Honestly it’s not that great, but quicker than a hand broom! It’s also bloody heavy and being a wee thing I look quite funny hauling it round the place.

  2. I take it you have no ponds for toddlers to fall into? (my constant fear whenever any visitors arrive). I assume you know the name of every plant in the garden, or at least are prepared to make one up, if asked?

    • We have a shallow fountain that at least one child has fallen into, and one deep pond but that’s well,fenced in. The sweimming pool’s in a supposedly-off-limits area but I still find people wandering about in there sometimes!

      I’d love to know the name of every plant…

  3. patientgardener

    I do like your list, I dont know how I would feel about people walking around the garden but I suppose thats why you are there. I work in an office and get compliments on such things as common sense, diplomacy, efficiency but never my formatting!
    I was visiting a garden last year with a private group and the gardeners were whizzing around on the ride on mowers which was fine and then one of them starting singing opera which was quite surreal but wonderful. I think visitors like to see gardeners working, it makes the garden seem more real rather than perfect

    • People do seem to like to see me working, you’re right. Though if I’m not doing anything noisy they can freely ask questions which is cool.

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