Water Garden Host Guide

Thank you for helping make this year’s tour a success.  If you have any
questions, please feel free to contact the office @ 610-380-1119 or Email Sarah.

What is the Brandywine Valley Water Garden Tour?
The Water Garden Tour is a two-day tour with extensive water features and
gardens.  Saturday evening, all homeowners and tour participants gather at
Turpin Landscape on Martins Corner Road for the Tours Barbecue, Silent
Auction, 50/50, and live entertainment.

What is expected of a homeowner who signed up to be a host?
Each homeowner is expected to prepare their property for the tour. Suggestions
include trimming lawns, weeding gardens, and having your water feature
functioning. Each host will be given two t-shirts to wear on the water garden tour.
This helps tour guests identify you. You will also be given pond tour yard signs.
Please put them up at your driveway or parking entrance so tour participants can
locate your property.

Do I need to be home as people visit my property?
We prefer having owners at home during the tour to greet participants.  This
helps people feel welcome and lets you share information about your property.
Your feature must be available for viewing from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM Saturday &
Sunday.  If any tour attendees come late on Saturday afternoon, remind them
that the barbecue starts serving food around 6:00 PM.  Let them know they are
invited to the Barbecue (already part of their purchased ticket), and you will see
them there.

Do I need to provide any refreshments or bathrooms to people?
Some hosts do offer water, light refreshments, etc. A visitor may ask to use your
bathroom. This is not required, we prefer asking them to use WAWA and Turkey
Hill, but that choice is yours.

How do I handle parking?
Since the tour is self-guided over two days, you should only have a few people at
your property simultaneously.  On average, most people have no more than two
or three cars at one time.  Most people will park on the street if you live in a
neighborhood.  If you have an area you want people to park or not, please mark it
off.  If you are a new or expanded property, you may have more traffic since new
tour participants and veterans may want to see the property.  The same can
happen if you only open your property for one day.

What kind of questions do people usually ask homeowners?
While people typically ask questions about your water feature and gardens, be
prepared for some interesting questions. If and how you answer is totally up to

Some common questions that hosts may receive:

  • How old is your feature?
  • Who built it?
  • How much did it cost?
  • What did that include?
  • How much does running cost (electricity, treatment, food, etc)?
  • How big is it (dimensions)?
  • How many gallons does it hold?
  • How do you fill it / how often?
  • Maintenance schedule – what do you do, and how often?
  • What kind of plants do you have?
  • What kind of fish are these?
  • What happens in the winter?
  • What do you do to start up in the spring?
  • How do you clean your pond?
  • How big is the pump?
  • What happens when you lose power?
  • What kinds of animals visit?
  • Do you get heron?
  • Do you get Deer?

Additional Hints for Hosts:
Some hosts like to tell their features story by showing pictures before and during
the building process.  Also, a listing or photographs of the various plants, fish,
etc. (possibly in an album) helps tell your story about the feature and its
build. This is not mandatory, just suggestions from our veteran hosts.
Some people keep a count of how many people visit their site.  This is not
required, but seeing how many people visit your property during the tour can be
Not all tour participants like pets as much as you do. Please ensure they are
restrained so people do not feel uncomfortable while visiting your property.

The Barbecue on Saturday evening:

  • This is a rain-or-shine event.  There will be large tents in case of inclement
  • The barbecue event will run from 5-8 pm on Saturday.
  • Parking will be across the street from Turpin Landscape.  There will be staff
    to direct parking.
  • Handicapped parking will be in Turpin’s main parking lot.  Please inform the staff about individuals who need to park in this area.
  • All guests and hosts entering the area must register and receive a
    wristband. Your host t-shirt will be your entry ticket. Guests will need to
    show their tickets.
  • There will be tents set up with the silent auction items. Various staff
    members will offer 50/50 tickets for sale (CASH ONLY). Cash, checks, and
    credit card can be used for the silent auction.
  • We will have a DJ providing music.
  • Guests will be offered a variety of dinner items, drinks, and desserts.
  • Port-a-potties and hand washing stations will be on site.
  • The Chester County Food Bank will have a presence at our event. Senator Andy Dinniman is also expected to be at our event.
  • Pre-Tour Host Weekend (always the weekend before the Water Garden Tour)
  • Pre-Tour Purpose: To allow our hosts to visit the other homeowner’s water features. On Saturday night, the Turpins will host a Pre-Tour Party to thank the hosts for their support.

Pre-Tour Host Weekend:

  • When can hosts tour the other water gardens?  Most sites are open from 9
    AM to 5 PM.  You are not expected to be home, as you will be traveling to
    other properties. Other water feature owners will be out visiting just like
    you, so do not expect someone on site. This is your opportunity to take
    pictures and enjoy the tour. If you do not want your property to be available
    on one of the host visit days, please let Sarah Turpin know at least two
    weeks in advance. We will pass that message along to all the other hosts.
  • What if my water garden still needs to be ready to show on host weekend?
    Hosts will understand if you are still weeding and mulching that weekend
    or even days before the main tour. We are all still working on our gardens
    right up to the tour day. The hosts look at your water feature, not how many
    weeds you still have to pull.
  • What is the host party that is on Saturday night?  A party is held on
    Saturday evening for hosts who have generously made their water feature
    a part of this great event.  It is our way of saying THANK YOU and getting
    everyone together to eat, drink, share, listen to great music, and relax. The
    party runs from 6 pm to 10 pm and will be hosted by one of the stops on
    the weekend tour. During the evening, we will have the Hosts Packets for
    you, which will contain your yard signs, your T-shirts (to be worn during the
    weekend event and at the barbecue), and maps of the tour stops. That information will come to you soon. If, for some reason, you cannot attend, please let us know, and we can arrange for you to pick up your packet at Turpin Landscape.

If you have questions, please call us.  We are here to help you and ensure this is an enjoyable event for you and all our guests.

Sarah Turpin is your Host contact; please get in touch with her with any questions you may have.

Sarah Turpin – 484.955.6676 or Sarah@TurpinLandscapeDesign.com

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