If it wasn't clear until now, we like gardens. A lot.
We are overjoyed to hear that gardens are slowly but surely opening up around the country, following government advice about physical distancing. We feel like, with the proper precautions, visiting these beautiful gardens will be a great opportunity for people to enjoy nature, meet up with family and start to ease back into normality slowly.
However, there are a few things you should be aware of before you plan your first trip. We have put a list together about suggested etiquette when visiting public spaces.
Please feel free to reach out in the comments if you feel like we missed something out!
Check the garden’s availability before you go
Most gardens are clear about whether they are open or closed and whether you need to book a ticket in advance. Generally speaking, gardens are asking people to book in advance to avoid the use of cash and to avoid queues at the entrance. You can check their websites or social media to find the most up to date info.
Take your litter away
Many gardens are operating without their cafes and tearooms for the time being but are often allowing people to bring their own picnics. It goes without saying but it’s important to take litter away to keep the gardens looking beautiful for everyone else visiting.
Try to avoid cash
To avoid physical contact, many gardens will ask you to use your bank cards for buying tickets. Better yet, try to purchase your tickets online beforehand!
Observe the signs in and around the gardens
If you are unsure about the proper distancing rules, keep this chart from the Lost Gardens of Heligan in mind!
We’re all used to queuing outside shops by now and garden attractions are no different. Many gardens will have signs on where and how to queue at the entrance and this may be different to the usual entrance of the gardens. If you are unsure, ask a member of staff what to do.
A lot of gardens have created one way systems around the ground or specific parts of the garden to avoid people bumping into each other. These should be clearly marked by arrows so it’s important to keep an eye out for any directional signs!
If you need some guidance on the route to take, check out the Candide audio tours. They not only provide guidance but some fun facts about the garden and it's history. Here are some of our favourites:
We hope this is so obvious we don't even have to say it, but just in case: please don't visit gardens if you have experienced Covid-19 symptoms in the last two weeks, or have been in contact with someone who has!
It also goes without saying to use hand-sanitiser and face masks when visiting public spaces. I myself will be wearing a botanical themed one!
Be patient and kind, and enjoy yourself!
Ultimately gardens want their visitors to have a good time. They are a great place for friends and family to meet and they have been touched to see reunions, anniversaries, birthdays being celebrated in their grounds. While the gardens try to keep everyone safe (including visitors and staff) you may have to wait to use facilities or enter certain parts. Please remember to be kind and courteous of each other. Nature waits for everyone after all.