Too hot to garden? Stream these movies and virtual tours.

Note: This was sent out as a weekly Love Notes From the Garden email in August 2021. 

I get it – you think it is too hot and too buggy to go into the garden. Well, it IS August. The only pleasant time in the garden is early morning. That is inconvenient if you are not a morning person or have other commitments (like, um, a job.)

I have rescheduled my calendar to spend tomorrow morning in the garden pulling weeds. Yesterday’s generous rain has softened the Georgia clay brick and done most of the watering for me. Over three hours last week was spent hand watering, that much again harvesting figs. So the mornings last week were not even weeding, mulching, pruning or planting, but keeping my garden watered and harvested. Well, it IS August.

Do find time to water, fill bird feeders and birdbaths and apply deer spray. Then go inside if you want. Forget daytime TV, forget Netflix, take a look at some gardening that can stream into your air-conditioned home:

  • Have you heard of Heygo? These are live virtual tours around the world. Feel free to ask questions as you are watching. They are free, just tip through Apple Pay or Paypal or a credit card. That is how your tour guide earns money. During August they are concentrating on garden tours – how fun is that?
  • Public gardens worldwide are still streaming classes and talks. I have added a few events on my online calendar, so keep an eye on that for ideas.
  • Here are a few of my favorite websites to find online classes and virtual tours. If any truly speak to you, sign up for their newsletter and follow on social media.
    • Facebook events may be awkward at first, but it won’t take long for them to figure out which events would interest you.
    • The Garden Conservancy has had so many great talks this past year that I bought a membership to support them and get a discount on talks. Their summers are filled with in-person garden tours, but I expect the amazing virtual talks will return in the fall. There is a four-part Gardens for a Changing World series from 2020 available to view.
    • England’s National Garden Scheme offers virtual garden tours.
    • Eventbrite, where I follow organizations (The National Trust) and use hashtags (#garden_history, #gardening) This is a great rabbit hole to find interesting online programs but beware of: (1) the time zone in which the event happens (I have watched some at 5 a.m. EST), (2) if recordings will be available or must be watched at a certain time, (3) the organizer, not Eventbrite)  sends out information on how to watch and that can end up in my Gmail trash folder, so give yourself time to log on.
    • OK, do Netflix or Amazon Prime or whatever. Some recommendations:
      • Netflix – The Big Flower Fight
      • Amazon Prime – The Great Gardens of England, Churchill’s Secret (set in Chartwell, his wonderful home, garden, art studio – and it is a good movie), The Gardener (2018, Frank Cabot), Dare to Be Wild (about garden designer Mary Reynolds)
      • Amazon Prime (OK, I have not seen these yet, but they are were added to my list as I was researching this) – Beatrix Farrand’s American Landscapes, Hummingbirds with David Attenborough, Intelligent Trees
      • Britbox – I have not subscribed yet, but friends say this is rich in British gardening shows and coverage of last month’s Hampton Court Palace Flower Show.
      • Growing Floret, a new reality show on the Magnolia Network via discovery+. I enjoyed this interview with Erin Benzakein of Floret Flower Farm
      • YouTube is full of interesting films. Crazy about a certain garden, garden nursery, garden magazine, or garden personality? – just enter those names in the search bar to find videos you love, like Christopher Lloyd and Rosemary Very strolling through Great Dixter. The New York Botanical Garden not only has great lectures, but children’s storytimes and backyard botany. Browsing National Trust videos is always wonderful.

Or plan a tea party. England’s National Garden Scheme is launching The Great British Garden Party. During the week of 14th – 20th September, the charity is inviting everyone to host an event in their garden. Invite a few friends over, ask them to make a donation and send the money to NGS. They are raising funds for nursing, including a way for people to put on virtual reality goggles and stroll through gardens from a wheelchair or nursing home bed.

Sorry, I did get lost in this Love Note to you. If you made it this far I am flattered. I hope you stay cool, enjoy your garden, and get something from this list (but not an addiction to YouTube – nobody needs that).

Thank you for subscribing to and reading Love Notes From the Garden.

Love, Connie