There are moments in every gardener’s life when we ask ourselves, is it worth it? Is it worth fighting the mites, deer, moles, the neighbor’s cat, the evil forces of nature or our restrictive budgets? When these doubts descend upon us, the trowel is tossed in the shed without cleaning, muck boots are dumped on the garage floor still caked in mud and a bee-line is make to the ice-cream, kettle cooked chips, bottle of Merlot….. insert your personal indulgence here.
But in the morning, all is well. The garden has recovered from its foul mood and is showing its colors in the early morning light. Slowly, with each breath of the damp earth, we fall in love with our garden all over again.
Not too long ago I posted a question about the necessity of additional public green spaces in Cincinnati on a networking site. The responses were decidedly on the side of more public green spaces, local crop gardens, even rooftop gardens. There were a few quiet rumbles from those who work with public gardens. They expressed their frustration in finding trash and other signs of misuse in their gardens. I can relate.
Gardening public land does have its downfall. I have found newly planted flowers trampled, cigarette butts in the hosta bed and beer bottles tossed about. It can be disheartening. But there is always far more positives to motivate- to inspire me to do more. I have the privilege to garden in my two favorite places in Cincinnati- Spring Grove Cemetery and Ault Park. That alone still amazes me. And then there are the people I get to meet.
Each time, without fail, when I am at Ault Park, someone thanks me and the other gardeners for our work. I am doing what I love, in an area I treasure and to top it off, I get a few thank yous. That erases the inconsiderate actions of a few.
Here is to those who work in public gardens- there are many thank yous, those you hear and those you don’t. And to those tending your private gardens, raise a glass of Merlot, a bowl of ice-cream or a bag of chips and toast to a job well done!