A Garden Rubric For You

Well, pretty soon Garden Open Days will be arriving all over the country.   Are you prepared?  I personally feel the Open Days are a little too friendly and casual.  I think we, the garden visitors, need to step it up a notch and that’s why I’ve prepared this powerful critiquing tool that you can bring with you to each garden. 

Putting together this Garden Rubric was a breeze thanks to my 14 years’ experience in Professional Education, where I spend hours each day picking apart the creative work of others!  Oh, but I must give a nod to P. Allen Smith, who supplied the categories I used for the rubric: Color, Abundance, Whimsy, Mystery, Enclosure, and Time (from his 12 Principles of Design).  Thanks, P. Allen!

So print out this rubric and bring it along on your next garden visit!  Along with a red pen and a judgmental  spirit, of course!


38 thoughts on “A Garden Rubric For You

  1. Wickedly clever! I’m going to use your matrix for grading all my future design problems. Extra points for Mitt Romney topiaries . . .

    I’m so glad your blogging! When is your book, young lady?

    • Thomas, I’m not sure about the book but I realize after reading your comment that I haven’t been called “young lady” for a number of years. With my 41st birthday just a few months away, I have to say it sounds good. :o)

      • Actually…I haven’t figured that out yet 😉 My dad gave me the Tiger Lilies last fall and I just kinda did my best to site them somewhere with decent conditions. I have them at the top of a slope, behind Geranium ‘Rozanne’, Persicaria ‘Firetail’ and Panicum ‘Blood Brothers’…we’ll see how that looks 🙂

  2. Uh, oh. My mom and I do privately rate the gardens once we are back in the car! Not so much to be critical though. We like different things and it is interesting to learn about what the other thought through the ranking system. This chart will be VERY helpful!

    • Hey, no shame there Heather. Heck, I silently rate landscaping all the time, especially when I’m walking the dog and especially when a homeowner has clearly spent a lot of money on professional landscaping. The more extravagent the garden, the more I start behaving like Simon Cowell.

  3. Mary, Your writing is inspiring and at the same time I am intimidated! You have the greatest wit and possess the writing skills to present your thoughts in ways that keep us smiling. Thanks again.

  4. You are so hilarious! I really think you should consider developing a Saturday Night Live skit and selling it to them or maybe get in touch with Tina Fey. I will cetainly share this with fellow gardeneing friends and family. A real hoot!

  5. Bwahahaha! Dear Mary, you have to, to, to much time on your hands. I fear that the garden guests will take you seriously and tragic consequences might occur for manufactured sun dials and the color mauve.

  6. I was the intended victim of someone’s garden rubric (learned from a local “expert”, etc), one year our modest place was on 3 garden tours. Still laugh *at* her uppity provincialism and lack of plant knowledge, though I laugh *with* your posts and rubric! (especially the judgemental spirit + red pen part:-)

    • Thanks David. I can only imagine how nervous I’d be having my garden featured on a tour. I think I would do alright if I could rope off certain sections of it and only let visitors see some parts of the garden from certain angles.

  7. Pingback: A Friday miscellany | enclos*ure

  8. Thanks Mary, I almost laugh-snorted tea all over my keyboard while reading your garden rubric. That’ll be a lesson for me: do not drink tea while reading blackwalnutdispatch (stop sneaking peeks at gardening blogs while at work? never).

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