There are many wonderful aspects of gardening – one is that it allows us a place to put our generosity – both in giving and in receiving.
A few weeks back, I was extolling the virtues of my neighbour’s impressive colony of trout lilies (Erythronium, possibly ‘Pagoda’ pictured above) to a friend. I live in a neighbourhood where we all seem connected one way or another, and said friend mentioned my remark to said neighbour. So she tells my husband that I can come over and dig up a bunch of them if I would like!
I was tickled and over there in two minutes with my garden fork. They are now relocated under the Stewardia pseudocamillia in the back. As they are spring ephemerals, they are dying down now but I look forward to them emerging next spring.
My husband carves with an artist from Bowen Island who will often accept plants that I can no longer care for, from lack of space or a new idea on design. It makes me happy to think that someone will enjoy them and continue to care for them. He updates me on their progress, as though keeping me current on old friends.
Recently, I visited someone who has a woodland garden on his condo patio. It is an absolute wonder of treasures in pots – proof if any was needed that urban gardens can be magnificent. As I was leaving, he gave me an unidentified plant. Please name it for me if you can as I haven’t a clue what it might be. But I am delighted with the gift and look forward to discovering an appropriate home for it.
We have a sandstone sphere in our front yard. My mother loved to collect small stones of all kinds, and we had this sphere made with money from her estate. I hold it as the last gift she gave me and I am reminded of her every time I come home.
Gardens are made this way – from purchases but also from gifts. I have things in my garden that I would never have bought but love, as they have been given to me and come with meaning. And so our garden spaces become personal, intimate, filled with memories of the giving and receiving in our lives. Gardens document who we are, they hold our stories and they are one of the many ways that we share what we value.
Be it a single pot or acreage, having a garden is grand.