Others’ Gardens

Yesterday I found a new way to go to work. Google paved the way when I opted out of the sooner-than-usual cluster fuck that bedazzles my morning commute. At the end of the unfamiliar detour there was a tiny park with a very nice garden. Today I detoured that way again, making time for a short visit.

The whole garden was lovely and segmented into people’s individual plots. Since it was also fenced and padlocked, I had to take photos through chain link while my shoes got wet in the dewy (weedy, thank you very much) grass.

What I think I found most inspiring was the faith and dedication that people have with this community garden, in that there were lots of plants that took real commitment. Not your average season of plants that you compost at frost, but plants that said their owners were invested. And invested in a spot of earth that wasn’t really theirs. A large well-established rosemary and a hopeful young grapevine made me realize that there’s something important in the spirit of gardening that I don’t understand yet. Maybe it is the communal part. That gardening with others makes you more generous or brave or competitive. I don’t know. Maybe it’s more of a shrug. Like of course we aren’t in control, have you seen what the slugs did to my strawberries? What’s the harm in caring for a five year old rosemary in a small rental plot in a public park?

I don’t know. But what I do know is that beehives make me excited and happy and I’d still like one someday.

It was a lovely start to the day. The damp green smell followed me as I drove away, clinging to my hair and clothes. Also whatever it is about gardens that seems to sweetly shove my soul back into place clung for a while too.