Saturday, March 28, 2009

Except Me and Thee

Clover flowers

My family used an old Pennsylvania Dutch phrase, “Everyone is going to the dogs except me and thee and I’m beginning to wonder about thee.” Although meant humorously, it can typify how we can become so judgmental of others that we begin to think we’re the only one that’s right.

Gardeners need to enjoy the differences in tastes, level of effort, or plans. Developing the ability to stand back and appreciate another’s differences, without the desire to copy, is usually an acquired ability. One we are born with but loose someplace in growing up and must again develop.

It’s the decision to take joy in observing a garden that (by our standards) is too organized or too chaotic. A garden with weeds in the wrong places or where wildflowers are forbidden. It’s taking joy in the creative mess in our neighbor’s yard or their minimalist Zen space. It’s enjoying the yard ornament that reminds us of a recently spilled dumpster or puzzles us with an unknown modern interpretation.

Let’s adapt what Janet Kilburn Phillips tells us: “There are no gardening mistakes, only experiments.”

I’ve seen the most enthusiastic gardener open their yard to a tour only to overhear harsh criticism: “There’s grass in their iris!”, “They don‘t have talent; they hired it done!” “Can you believe they put that there?!” “They could have at least hid that during the tour!” You get the picture.

Next summer when we go on that garden tour or walk by a neighbor’s yard, take a moment to realize that no matter what a gardener had in mind, it involved their heart. Hearts are just too precious to be broken by a harsh word.

Teresa Watkins in Gardening With Soul said, “Every garden is unique with a multitude of choices in soils, plants and themes. Finding your garden theme is as easy as seeing what brings a smile to your face.”

Me and thee can make a difference by encouraging and complimenting our fellow gardeners. It’ll bring a smile to everyone’s face!

(Call 309-853-1533 if you would like to reserve a spot on the March 10, 2009 bus trip to the Chicago Flower Show. Sponsored by the Henry-Stark Extension Master Gardeners.)

No comments:

Post a Comment