One of the hardest things for some gardeners to do is to let people in to help. Since I’ve been teaching about gardening in the last couple of years, I’ve gotten better at this. After all, the plants know what to do; someone’s “mistake” in a garden is not going to have that big an impact.
For someone so grouchy (who, me?), I seem to have accumulated quite a community centered around my gardening. It’s rather a pocket metaphor for how one’s life changes with time. In the past I had only brought people into the garden once a year or so, for a garden party we give each year at the flowers’ “peak,” around mid to late July. Now I’ve got friends helping me with tasks through my Hipster Supported Agriculture project, community gardens, and a huge online community of mentors and friends that is growing and developing daily.
This month we’ll be writing about our gardening communities, if you can describe thus the men that we corral into the heavy lifting. I have two semi-reluctant gardeners in my life: my son (call him Jay), and my husband, (call him Wei). (There’s a third one as well, my daughter Jee, she’s a little more reluctant and a lot better at resisting me.)
I think they’re fairly intimidated by the green things, except when it comes to eating, but can be convinced to build things– a pond, paths, patios, trellis, rain barrel systems, potting benches, fencing.
Wei is also very much into critters. Fish. Birds. Worms. He’s always goading me into getting chickens, and I’m pretty sure he’d like a hive, not to mention worm compost. We have binoculars at the kitchen window so he can spy on the birds.
It was the animals that finally got Wei into the garden, and got me to understand that it is, in fact, our garden, not just mine.
One summer day last year, Jay burst into the kitchen to exclaim that “the garden is just teeming– there are so many things alive out there!” A garden is just the not-so-quiet center of life; it will touch all your communities, large and small, if you let it.