… is pleasure multiplied.
One of the great joys of being a gardener is the opportunity it gives us to share. Share the interest, share the plants, the successes, the failures, the problems and their solutions, but most of all, the chance to share the sheer pleasure of gardening.
And that’s what I did this morning.
With the gentle easing of isolation restrictions, we are now allowed to have one person visit our homes. A dear ‘gardening tragic’ – I recognise them having long been in their ranks – came for breakfast. Our visits always include a tour of the garden, whether it be hers or mine.
We discussed common problems and commiserated on why we may never know the reason particular plants, despite the high level of love and care, turn up their toes and die anyway. Some things can’t be changed, some problems can’t be solved, so accepting ‘it is what it is’ relieves us of some of the anguish and relentless quest for the why.
During the time of COVID19, the sharing has been virtual. Belonging to different gardening Facebook groups and following gardening blogs, has meant sharing with gardeners, not just in my area, or even in my country, but from all over the world. Growing conditions and plant types might be different but our appreciation for gardens is the same. We gardeners are a tribe.
It’s apparent not everyone knows this, or respects our unwritten rules of respectful sharing. Returning from an early walk with her dogs, my daughter found a woman, derrière in the air, stealing plants from her garden.
I was proud of the way she handled the situation. The plant thief carried a bag filled with her booty – uprooted gingers and other precious plants. She told my daughter she didn’t think of her theft as stealing. She didn’t think.
My daughter explained to her the unspoken bond among gardeners and what it meant. Had she thought to knock on the gardener’s door and express her admiration of or interest in the garden, generally most gardeners would be happy to chat about the plants and share cuttings.
My point being that while the majority of people respect the rules which benefit all, there will always be some who think only of themselves. So, should I let this spoil the pleasure of sharing? Should I lose faith in all gardeners because of one isolated incidence, a tiny minority? Perhaps feel angry and seek redress? Although the thought crossed my mind momentarily, I don’t think so.
I could try instead to lead by example. Maybe plant seeds of generosity and kindness in the hearts of those who would steal from us, those who break the rules. Who knows – something truly beautiful might grow and multiply.
In these COVID19 times, I need to be kinder to those who don’t think.
Love only grows by sharing. You can only have more for yourself by giving it away to others.Brian Tracy