Sunday, July 15, 2007

Toning it down.

6 or 7 years ago I went to a demonstration given by Sarah Raven in her sister Jane's house in Edinburgh. I can't remember how I heard about it - it was before Raven was that well known in Scotland - and I stuck out a bit as I was oddly young and un-lunchy compared to the other atendees.

At lunch I was at a table of fifty-something "ladies who lunch and attand lectures", next to a very stylish, petite, brunette who did nothing but moan about the (very good) food, the stairs to the demonstration room, the lack of cushions on the chairs and so on. After she had exhausted complaining about that day's entertainment she moved onto the previous week's garden club trip to Great Dixter "And do you know Christopher Lloyd has bindweed in his borders, he has the cheek to open his garden to the public and it has bindweed in it".

I don't know what this obviously unhappy woman moved onto next as I got up, made my excuses and left.

I didn't post over the weekend because I had a very rude group of people visit me here on Saturday and it has taken me 2 days to tone down my response. I am not going to go into details as it is all done and dusted and I have received apologies from some people who were with the group. I know that at least one reads this blog and I hoipe that she will continue to do so as it was nice to meet her.

The result, however, is that we shall be following the lead of other working gardens and we shall no longer be opening up to groups. It was particularly galling as - had I not been waiting in for this pre-arranged visit - I would have been watching my daughter perform in George Square in Glasgow.


carolyn said...

Oh Jane it sounds like you have had a horrible experience and I'm so sorry. People can be very thoughless sometimes. As for bindweed at Gt Dixter I would have been relieved to see it there as well as in my own garden where I'm sorry to say I gave up on it years ago.

Tracy said...

so sorry to hear this Jane - i have been through similar with rude people in my shop - they make awful comments a few feet away from me and i am never sure if they think i am deaf or they are just plain mean!
rise above it and keep focused - from the photos you show you have a wonderful garden that i would LOVE to visit someday.

Gigibird said...

There will always be a certain type of person that wants to run everything down……you run a organic flower business, the reality of organic is imperfection – it makes me wonder what their expectations were?
I’m glad you are already getting over whatever it was that was said.
Your flower business is a real passion in your life – I think your right to not have groups of people unless they are from organisations or groups that are singing from the same hymn sheet as you.

the flour loft said...

I so sympathise with you Jane. I still shudder at some the comments I received when I ran the Sewing School at Liberty. There was always the odd one that felt that the excellent courses didn't live up to the Liberty experience (whatever that was). I guess the answer is that you can't please everybody. Sadly, it's those few disgruntled people that spoil things for everyone else. I don't blame you for not wanted to open your gardens to groups anymore but don't let this experience dent your flair and enthusiasm and passion for sharing your life and business with others.
Love Al x

Jane said...

Thanks for your kind comments. Fortunately a friend arrived to drop off some chairs just as they were leaving so she was able to help me finish the coffee and biscuits prepared for, and dimissed by, the group.

You meet all sorts!


PG said...

How bloody rude! I am fuming on your behalf, so God knows what you've been feeling. The very thought of someone having the gall to criticise dear Christopher Lloyd, it's like some leisure painter moaning on about the Sistine Chapel not being up to scratch! I can't imagine why anyone would set up a visit to someone's garden (or wherever) and then behave so badly unless they got some kind of weird kick out of it, or maybe they are just plain bad mannered.

Glad I work in the relative privacy of my own studio!

Raindrops said...

The world is full of rude and ignorant people. Many seem to descend onto the small business. And some of these people seem to take pleasure in being down right rude it is in there nature I fear and I often think these people do not have lives if they feel the need to do this. Simple good manners costs nothing and at least some contacted you later to apologies. The saddest part is it spoilt your weekend. Tricia

Sew Recycled! said...

Oh Jane - fume away! I used to work in shops and some people! Its quite bizarre how someone can be so rude. Obviously not brought up well. As for imperfections - that is life and it would be an extremly dull one if everything were so perfect.

Alison said...

Some people are never happy Jane. As they say you can't please long as your happy with what you do then you on the right track.
Take care,
Alison x

Ashleigh said...

Oh, I'm so sorry.

We have our share of rude ones too. Had one today actually that was all bitchy because we don't stock carnations.

You have a beautiful garden that works.

I think you're right not to open the garden to the public in the future.

Nonnie said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your experience over the weekend Jane. No wonder you're fuming about it. I have given up being surprised anymore about the rudeness and ignorance of some people. They must have very sad lives. I think you're doing the right thing in stopping the group visits although it is sad that the ignorance of these people will spoil the pleasure of visiting your obviously lovely and interesting garden in future.

Wild Rose said...

Some people are so rude! They seem to feel that they can say what they like to you when you run a business and they have a total disregard for the hard work and effort that go into running it.

Sorry to hear about your experience Jane. I am sure that your garden gives pleasure to many people - your blogging friends included.

Marie x

alice c said...

Hmmmm...I detect seething...even at this distance. People like that are used to visiting National Trust houses where everything is museumified. If they thought about the difference between a NT kitchen and a real kitchen they would be shocked. It is the same with gardens. They are also the people who conveniently forget that meat comes from animals and not plastic boxes. Let them go - you have more important things to worry about.

Tracy said...

It takes all sorts to make up this world of people! Some choose to see the sunnier side, others aren't happy unles they have something to complain about. Sorry for the time you had. You have a beautiful place that runs smoothly as it is. You find your own ways to spread beauty and joy--like here at your lovely blog! :o)

Jane said...

Thanks for all your nice comments and emails. I am completely over this now and of course I am always happy to show interested people round - we are always open on a Friday and I am quite often here on other days.

It is just that I am not prepared to be the extra step on an itinerary that is rudely ditched when lunch overruns in an excess of chatting.


Heather said...

Oh Jane this is awful - what it is with some people? For every lovely, there appears to be two who want to whine, grump or be just plain rude - there is absolutely no excuse for it.

Try to focus on those that make it worthwhile - the others are simply not worth the angst.

The shame of it is that its not just gardens that they dis - these miseries are everywhere!


weirdbunny said...

People are just so rude !!!
Lucky they didn't visit our garden, the weeds are sky high, there's rampant stingy nettles amongst the rasberry canes and we seem to be inandated with snakes around here at the moment - love Julia x