Picky about picking

I oversee my garden like a parent, and just like a proud father I think of each plant as my children – taking time to support them when they’re wet, move them out when they need more room to grow, and cut off a limb when it’s sick. (Okay, maybe that last one is not really a great parenting strategy, but you get the picture.) Nevertheless I take care of their overall well-being. And proudly, I might add.

Truth be told, I have two basic rules for others when it comes to my flowers:

1. Enjoy them for as much as you can. 2. Don’t pick the flowers yourself unless you’re invited.

These simple “green rules” rules were inherited from my grandmother, as she, too, would love to share her garden but forbade anyone to pick her flowers without her personal supervision. Being present made sure that the right tool was used and the flower was the right selection. I remember just thinking about doing this without her was considered to be an act of war. Come mealtime she would lecture you as to why she was in charge when it came to the garden and the flower picking process. That said, the herb garden was always open for business and we were encouraged to pick things at will, such as the fresh mint to add to our lemonade.

Today, I make it a point to never pick my own flowers until after a photo shoot; or, when I do, I make sure to do it strategically so that the casual observer can’t tell from where. Stacy Bass, a renowned photographer who – lucky for me – resides here in Westport, CT, recently shot the garden, capturing some of the most vibrant colors and textures. Stacy is known for her eye for detail and being able to zoom-in getting every last detail. She is so talented and gifted and I have the photos to prove it.

Then, a few days ago the talented multimedia expert Tom Lialios, of Norwalk, CT, was called upon to create some new press photos. Of course, I wanted to use my wonderful, over-the-top Annabelle hydrangea flowers as the backdrop. So we had to plan and waited until they were just perfect. For weeks we patiently watched their growth (and the weather forecast) for the exact right moment before we confirmed the date and time of the photo shoot. All went perfectly this week, as you can see by the amazing photo leading this blog. Tom, who also supported me with the production of The Mar Jennings Home & Garden Show always captures the essence of Rosebrook Gardens in a way that tells my story and shows my passion. Whether it be in print or on film, Tom is always the man!

A lot like my grandmother, I, too love to share my garden to all who come to visit Rosebrook Gardens. Whether its through my website, on a TV segment, during a garden tour, or for a press article, it’s my gift to you. Cultivating the land and sharing the fruits of my labor with others has always been the most rewarding part of being a public figure.

I like to think I’m the first person to willingly forage in my garden to get a bloom – the garden is not a museum – but earlier this week while I was in production a complete stranger walked onto my property with clippers in hand and snipped away some of my oversized hydrangea flowers. (I’m fortunate the neighbors enjoy looking at my garden, too – they’re the built-in security cameras.) Apparently, the person scampered away, too, which implied that they knew they were in the wrong. I wonder who?

So, if someone must come and pick my flowers, I guess I delight in knowing that they were perfect to enjoy. I don’t support this un-invited act, but I do know that flowers will grow back. After all toMARrow is another day. But if they come back they better watch out – Violet will be on guard.