Friday, April 11, 2008

When Your Gardening Heart Breaks

On August 14, 2002, the hottest day of the year, new neighbors moved into the yellow house on our west side.  I greeted them with a bouquet of hot pink gladiolas cut from my garden.  She loved them and we soon became fast friends.  Sharing a new interest in gardening we signed up for a gardening class together.  We spent hours together discussing how our gardens were growing, scouring obscure nurseries for interesting plants, and helping each other dig new beds and pull weeds.

Being a military family, they moved to Germany last year.  When the newer neighbors moved in last summer I greeted them with a plate of cookies and explained that if they had any questions about their garden I'd be happy to help because I knew everything that was in there.  She told me that she didn't know anything about flowers and didn't think she wanted to learn.  Ok then.  That week they tore out the raised vegetable garden.

Yesterday I looked out my kitchen window and gasped in horror.  They were ruthlessly tearing out the beautiful flower beds surrounding the front of the house.  I ran over and told them that if they wanted to dig the gardens out then I would do it for them so I could save the plants.  They agreed to that and I called a friend to help.

The whole thing makes me so sad.  I was almost as emotionally invested in that garden as I am my own.  Certainly not everyone will have the same interest in growing and beauty as I do, but to sacrifice the thousands of dollars invested in those gardens simply because you don't want to do the work involved?  That hurts my heart.  The only thing that makes me feel a little better about all this is that between the time my friends moved out and the new people moved in, I snuck over at night and dug up a few prime specimens including a wonderful hardy hibiscus and some perennial heliotrope.  They are happily growing in my own garden in honor of my good gardening friend and neighbor.

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