This month, we will be visiting the home garden of Lewis Perkins. Lewis is new to our chapter but not new to gardening or the CRFG, and is also a member of the LA chapter. He grows macadamia nut, pitanga , chamba, jack fruit, navel & Valencia oranges, tangerine, calimyrna fig, apricot, plums such as Satsuma, Santa Rosa and elephant heart, Kona & Java coffee, guavas, including Malaysian, Hawaiian, Mexican, green and South African (which is wonderfully creamy). He also grows Fuyu & Hachiya persimmons, pecan, Persian, Pakistani, and white mulberry, dwarf avocado, green chayote, Canadian blackberry, boysenberry, and Monstera deliciosa. In addition, his garden has ginger varieties, bay leaf, English oak, Japanese magnolia, white, yellow, and pink Gabriel trumpet flowers, Persian & domestic jasmine; Aloe vera varieties, eucalyptus, purple sage; succulents, split-leaf philodendron, epiphyllum, and roses. All this in a Santa Monica yard!
Plan to come and see this home garden and learn from Lewis’ clever use of space. It will be the high point of your week! If you need the address, please contact Margaret or Ronni under CONTACT US.
Please, however, remember we are Lewis’ guests in fairly tight quarters; and we must conduct ourselves with respect and gratitude and basic garden etiquette.
1. Please do not pick any fruit, even off the ground. If Lewis has ripe fruit that he wants to share, he will offer some to you. If there is ripe fruit left on the tree or on the ground, it was left for you to SEE, not to pick. If fruit “falls” while you are standing near, you should alert the gardener but under no circumstances should you pick it up.
2. Please do not break or cut any wood. Do not collect any seedpods, etc.
3. Watch where you step. Young plants and watering systems are often delicate.
4. Please do not enter the home. There will be a tour of the garden only. Use the restroom before leaving your home and bring your own water and tissues, should you need them. If you plan to take notes, bring your own pen and paper.
In other words: Mind Your Garden Manners! Almost forty years ago, the 1974 CRFG newsletter made the same points in this way:
1. Never wear high heels when you visit a garden.
2. Avoid pulling blossoms or touching plants. Your host may have spent years of patient work planning, hybridizing, and grafting. You don’t want to destroy his work.
3. Permission to visit the garden does not include a ramble through the house.
4. Do not ask for seeds, slips, or plants, especially if there is a group.
5. Do not leave a trail of peanut hulls, gum, candy wrappers or other litter.
6. Do not smoke.
7. If there are paths, stay on them to avoid trampling plants, basins, and plots. Close gates you found shut and do not break overhanging branches.
8. Take your own notebook, pencil, and tissues so you need not bother your host for them.
9. Ask permission before taking pictures and don’t delay the pilgrimage with your photography. Consider your host’s time.
10. Never take a dog. If you bring children, they must be old enough to behave appropriately.
11. Be prepared with an umbrella if it looks like rain.
12. Remember, you are there as a guest.