A Day in the Life of a Landless Gardener
Mornings with coffee in one hand and a camera in the other I walk the grounds of the gardens at Ault Park to see what survived the night and what new blooms are making their appearance. I enjoy the early morning in the gardens when everything is fresh and the dew rests on the shaded lawn.
In the park I am not alone. I am greeted with familiar faces of the walkers and photographers who make the park part of their morning ritual. I notice when they are absent and I wonder if they notice my absence as well. It is not quite the same as walking the backyard garden in my jammies with a cat following me about. It is still solitude in the morning garden, like when I had a yard, just different. It’s solitude among kindred spirits. One thing is certain, it is equally difficult to say good-by to the gardens for the day and head to work.
Lunch is time to visit the local nursery where I browse with the best intentions of buying just one or two plants and leave with a flat. Landless or not, that is bound to happen! It’s easier to resist some plants as a landless gardener. The expensive plants stay on the shelf, for there is always the risk that a plant may ‘walk off’ from the park. And those plants that bloom at night or release an intoxicating scent with the rise of the moon are lost on me for admittance to the park gardens at night is forbidden.
After work I hustle home, a garden to-do list formulating as I battle the rush hour traffic. A hello and a kiss for my boyfriend and a change of clothes and it’s back to the car to head to the park. My garden tote is packed from the night before, ready in the trunk. I use very few tools in the gardens- you would too if you had to carry them to the gardens. When I arrive at the park I slip on my garden shoes and take the steps two at a time to see my new gardens at the top of stairs. Before I begin working I take a quick inventory of the other adopt-a-plot gardens including my shade garden and the third new space that is yet to be named.
I garden, letting my mind wander and drift helping me find my balance after a busy day. I chat with a few park goers who stop to say hello and thank all of us for our hard work. If I was home I would never be pulled out of my daydreams but on the other hand, I would miss the laughter of children, live music from one of the many weddings that take place in the park or a chat with a fellow park gardener.
At the end of the day I walk the gardens to find tools I left behind in a distracted moment. I bundle them together and cart them to my car, rather than the garden shed. I am still horrible at cleaning my tools after each use- who wants to carry them into the house and then back out to the car each day? And my car's truck, which serves as my garden shed, could use a good cleaning out.With the sun setting I settle into my evening routine, garden book and blogs and quiet time with Darryl. In a few hours a new garden day will begin for this landless gardener.