Why was the Fosters' house called the "touch-me-not cottage" in the story Tuck Everlasting?
The fact that the Fosters' house is called a "touch me not cottage" indicates that the cottage is pristine but not inviting. The area around Treegap, where the cottage is located, has a notable natural beauty, but in the vicinity of the house that beauty is spoiled by the declaration of human ownership - the woods belong to the people. The house itself is
"a square and solid cottage with a touch0me-not appearance, surrounded by grass cut painfully to the quick and enclosed by a capable iron fence some four feet high which clearly said, 'Move on - we don't want you here.'"
The house is neat, clean, and "proud of itself." Ironically, it pristine look is forbidding; it is clear that the owners exercise strict control over all aspects of life here, and strangers are not welcome.
Winnie is the only child of the Foster clan, and she is very unhappy in the Treegap cottage. Although her family loves her, they allow her little freedom. She finds the atmosphere in the touch-me-not cottage stifling; like the feeling it exudes towards all who pass by, it is not a place where one can act spontaneously and feel at-ease. The Tuck's home, in contrast to the touch-me-not cottage belonging to the Fosters, is messy and unkempt. Winnie, however, discovers that, surprisingly, despite its appearance, the Tuck's home is more welcoming than her own.