It takes a long time to meet people in a community garden. While gardeners learn by interaction and thus tend to be a social lot (hence the proliferation of blogs like mine, online communities, conferences, forums, and community service projects in the area), you can only meet people at a community garden if you happen to drop by at the same time as they do… which becomes more rare as Spring becomes Summer (how many people would choose to spend a free afternoon outside in full sun, 90 degree weather, with 90% humidity? Crazy people, that’s who.) -grin-

So it was only recently that I met my neighbor to the North, Betty. It was through her that I learned a little bit of the history of my plot – because it had once been her husband’s. In fact, what is now three plots was once only one; her husband was an avid gardener (he even cut trenches into the path to divert groundwater to flow into a bathtub he had sunk in the ground). After he died she gave up most of the plot and only kept what she did so that she could plant and grow the seeds that he had bought that year and never used, as sort of a memory garden… and she’s done it the last two years as well. Meanwhile, my plot lay fallow for three years.

I never knew Tom, but through the many little surprises I keep finding in my plot, I feel as though I had. My strawberries were part of his garden. When I moved in I found them half-strangled with weeds and transplated them into my own beds. The same with my asparagus; a large clump surprised me last Fall and I divided it up and transplanted it. A little ring of daffodils appeared near it, and provided a welcome bouquet for a company dinner.

The best surprise came this Spring, though.

He had planted irises, for no other reason than their beauty, all along the fence.

Tom is still around. I wish I could tell Betty that without sounding sanctimonious.

One Response to “Legacy”

  1. songspinr Says:

    remember me?? “MOM”?? loved the garden blogs. Tell Betty I loved the irises.They are exceptionally beautiful ones. If she knows the name, I would love to know…
    We too know about inheriting surprises. Other than the Cecil Brunner rose I fought to keep and knew about, in spring we found several volunteer freezias,and a tulip or two, in summer, lady-slippers, plus the red roses that spilled over the garage and in front of the living room window.I know how nice it is to find that the garden you inherited was once loved by someone other than you.

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