A Garden Shared …

… 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.

Sharing the love – open garden at ‘Carnival of Flowers’ in Toowoomba Queensland

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

28 responses to “A Garden Shared …

  1. Often on walks around the neighborhood with Charlie on his leash, I’ve been compelled to STOP to admire someone’s front garden, study how she treated her front gate entrance, stole long gazes down her side lanes. But pulling flowers or uprooting plants? Perish the thought!

    I love your massive wisteria arbor. Gorgeous! Makes me think APRIL as that’s when ours bloomed on my childhood place. Occasionally it produced a second bloom, although less spectacular, in September or October. It still made think “ah, April.”

    Liked by 2 people

    • I could only think this woman was not a gardener. Simply someone wanting to fill her front yard. I love looking at how others have solved problems or approached design. The arbour is not my own, rather part of a winning garden in the open garden scheme. It’s just stunning isn’t it? My friend is pictured talking to the gardener who created it. We had a whole weekend there to immerse ourselves in the festival – bliss.
      Glad you and Charlie are getting out and about. Hope you’re also keeping well. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Lovely post, Robyn, and fantastic wisteria. Sadly, the few who break the rules, written or moral, manage to make it worse for the large majority who don’t. It is what it is. Sharing is a joy to be indulged in to the full.🌹

    Liked by 2 people

  3. It would be very upsetting to have someone dig up plants from your garden…there’s really no excuse! But your daughter handled it admirably.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I hope my daughter’s response will change the woman’s perspective next time she thinks about stealing. People like to be given the opportunity to be kind. Generosity begats generosity.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Words fail me! I feel guilty if I take a cutting! And I do normally ask first. I rather miss the garden tours that I used to attend in my former home town of Ludlow, often tiny courtyard gardens but full of big ideas.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The arbour was part of the winning garden in the Carnival of Flowers festival. The man standing beneath it is sharing his advice with my friend. The whole concept of the open garden scheme is about sharing so I thought it was a fitting illustration. And to your comment of how we react to thievery, I learnt a valuable lesson from my daughter. Thanks for commenting ☺️

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Yes, one of the great pleasures of gardening is sharing. I’m glad you can now share your garden with a real gardening friend again, as well as with your virtual friends around the world. Inspired by a local gardener putting a table out to offer spare plants for free, I’ve started a Saturday help-yourself bucket with bunches of flowers from my garden. I’m writing this with the scent of wallflowers in my nose, knowing that ten other, unknown households in Spittal are sharing the same scent this morning. That doubles the pleasure.

    Liked by 1 person

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