Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Tuesday, 24 June 2008 - Gardening friends

Dear God:

Today, I am thankful for gardening friends.

The most noteworthy thing about gardeners is that they are always optimistic, always enterprising, and never satisfied. They always look forward to doing something better than they have ever done before.
~Vita Sackville (1892-1962)

This quote perfectly describes nearly all of my gardening friends (I, however, need to work on optimism).

At tonight's potluck picnic, nearly 40 of us gather in the downtown demonstration garden to celebrate the success of the May plant sale.

After eating dinner, we sit under the trees, forming small, intimate groups. Conversations focus on common topics: complaints about the weather and lack of rain, updates on plants and gardens, anecdotes and lessons from work and life in general.

We remember. We catch up. We promise to keep in touch.

Gardeners. We are an eclectic group, as diverse and extraordinary as the plants we favor and the gardens we tend.

In early spring, the gardening society asks members to volunteer to open their gardens for public tours. Several people always step up to the plate. But not me.

I love my garden but it's no showplace.

My garden is happily ordinary as it celebrates the casual beauty of tried-and-true xeric plants. It's also a never ending project, a living work of art subject, of course, to the artist's frequent whims and wishes. When in peak summer bloom, however, it paints a picture as lovely as a Monet landscape.

So, I'm puzzled when P asks me why I'm not hosting a tour this summer. She knows better than anyone that a gardener is never satisfied with his/her garden's appearance.

I recite my usual excuse:

"My garden is still a work-in-progress. I still need to landscape the south side of the house and do this to the backyard and that to the front yard which means there is no way I can get it ready for public viewing."

I pause, awaiting P's reaction. She nods in agreement. She seems a bit preoccupied. Perhaps she is recalling all the tasks on her gardening to-do list.

Then, just to end all speculation, I say the three fateful words, "Maybe next year."

For this blessing, I am grateful.


Photo: Every morning, this glaucium grandiflorum greets me with a fresh bouquet of glossy, poppy-like blossoms. Gardeners often call it the "horned poppy" because of the seed pod's unique shape.

No comments: