On Sunday, I visited my old garden, the one I grew from scratch on poor soil and against all warnings by neighbours who thought that I was “doing that son of a bitch of a landlord a favour that he did not deserve” – let’s say, I had more reactions of incomprehension than curiosity or joy in the first three months. The labour on the soil was pretty intense too. By late summer, it looked nice. The vegetable garden had a harvest. The flowers brought a welcoming, plush touch. In the years that followed, the place transformed. Many neighbours stopped by to admire the garden, young guys used the opportunity to flirt (that was okay, though, because they are probably building their own gardens now), and butterflies, pollinators, birds made their home in the garden.
After I moved, I had to let go of that garden and my attachment to it. My co-gardener reassured me that she would find helpers. What I saw on Sunday blew my mind: the perennials I established are growing in many places – propagated, reseeded, transplanted -. There is an abundance of new plants. There is so much attention to detail in every corner — I was overwhelmed with emotion. It was fabulous to witness that even the people who were negative only a few years ago are taking care of the place. My unruffled statement: “Well, I am living here too!” made an impression, I guess. Of course, noticing the upliftment they felt coming home also opened up their attitudes.. “It is kind of nice to have a garden.. Why has no one thought about it before.. I wonder… Hmm..”
I am talking about it, because the time to wait for some great thing to happen, or to be handed to you on a platter, is over: try new things in the conditions that you have been given – regardless of what people gossip or think. Beautification counts. It has a gradual, energizing, and positive effect on how people think of themselves.
A place treated with love, for example a garden, can awaken kindness, pleasure, connection in many people who pass by and an almost unnoticeable improvement in the mood and the quality of thoughts.
The reason why I am confident that beauty is a vital piece in our lives (not only for creatives, for everyone) is because I have plenty of proof. I also fill myself with music and harmonious impressions every day, so that I can stay inspired and have the courage to do things I don’t see other people do – which I do often.
#loveiscontagious #loveblessesall #loveblessesme
16 June 2020
2 thoughts on “Contagious Gardening”
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Thank you, Indira.
I can not express how moved I was to find the garden in a better shape than I had left it.
Of course, many people stayed at home this spring (due to covid19 recommendations) and had more time on their hands. Gardening seemed like a good idea to do something and to improve well-being and the appearance of the immediate surroundings.
But when I built that garden years ago, the neighbours let me know that I was wasting my resources and my time. People who passed by commented how much better the property looked; but the residents of the building were not exactly thrilled. Three households were fans. But the rest thought that I and my co-gardener were silly and wasteful, or incurable idealists who would get their lesson. (The landlord was a pretty unreasonable personality who had given many tenants a hard time, so resentment was a shared reality.)
Still, no one complained about the new look. Even chronic complainers admitted here and there that our corner of the street looked nice. And that they enjoyed coming home to the bird song, the butterflies, the abundance of flowers, edible bushes.. and that they even cheered to the vegetables growing in front of their eyes.
Coming back last spring, after a while, and not expecting too much, I was pleasantly surprised that these same people who had been locked in negativity had changed their minds and were actively working to keep the garden alive.
One summer years ago, after intense effort and enough fatigue, I said to my co-gardener: “It was a lot of work, and I need a break now.. You know, this place is never going to look as beautiful as now.. I am just glad we did it.”
However, this spring proved me wrong. The garden looked more beautiful than ever before!
Many of the perennials had been propagated to new places, so that there was more of everything. All the islands filled with plants were well taken care of. There were no cigarette butts and garbage in any of the garden beds. And new plants had been added.
That was unexpected… and very healing to my heart.
My former neighbours get along better too.
All that was amazing to witness.
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