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OT: What to Wear

From: Sharon McAllister <73372.1745@compuserve.com>

Message text written by Jelcy Romberg:

>Subject: Re:What to wear at Diana's

We here in Dallas look forward to all of you being our guests at the
Destiny Dallas 2000 Convention.  In typical Texas fashion we hope to
present the biggest and most elegant private garden (the Clark's), the
biggest blooming iris (Tom Burseen's) the biggest collection of
Louisianas (Marie's) and the biggest everything else ad nauseum.

Sandy asked a very wise question as to what to wear at Diana's garden
which sadly isn't on the tour.  Since her extensive garden is in an
rather small back yard (by Texas standards) I would recommend attire for
a cozy, intimate occasion such as a long satin skirt, short sleeved
beaded blouse, pearls, of course, and patent leather slippers.  Sandy's
male escort should wear a morning coat if they arrive at Diana's before
noon! Although Easter will not be until the following weekend, it will
be perfectly allright by Dallas standards to wear white.

This reminds me of an entertaining program Dottie Steele gave at our
regional meeting many years ago, on the subject of dress & etiquette when
touring gardens. 

Remembered highlights:

Wear flat walking shoes, not heels or cowboy boots.  More comfortable for
you and easier on your hosts' nerves as they do less damage to the ground.

Leave your tote bag, backpack, or oversized purse in the car -- they can
decapitate a bloom stalk before you realize the danger.

Ladies, opt for pants rather than flowing skirts.  They are more
comfortable if you want to sit and study an intricate flower and much less
apt to damage nearby bloomstalks when you move quickly.

Take your camera only with the hosts' permission. [Convention gardens
EXPECT photographers, of course, but I once lost a substantial part of the
bloom in a bed of selected seedlings when a photographer lost his balance
and fell backwards into it!  The only damage he suffered was to his pride,
but he was too embarrassed to come back.]

Ditto the parasol or photographer's umbrella.  If your photography project
involves shots that require shade or reflectors, try to set up a separate
appointment.  Most garden owners will rather accommodate you than add such
a project to the confusion of a garden tour.

But I recall nothing after:  "Leave your St. Bernard at home."

The audience erupted into laughter.  I had, unfortunately, just taken a sip
of Coke so I choked and started a prolonged coughing fit.  What Dottie
didn't realize was that my St. Bernard was our club's unofficial mascot and
had visited the gardens of many members.   

He understood that iris beds were off-limits -- he wasn't even fenced out
of ours.  He'd made friends with many of our members' pets [although Moby
Dick, a LARGE white cat, never fully accepted him] so sometimes he'd sprawl
in the shade of a nearby tree while we toured a garden.  At Moby's house,
of course, he'd have to stay in the back of the pickup.  [I'll never forget
the day a neighbor missed his turn while gawking at the dog and knocked
down his own fence!]  

He did spent some time in the "dog house", though, after the local newpaper
came to our garden to take publicity photos for an upcoming iris show.  The
iris pictures & club news were buried in the back of the paper with other
garden news -- while photogenic Fred beamed from the front page. 

Sharon McAllister

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