Friday, July 9th, 2010...12:00 am

The Amazing Effect of TheGardenLady’s Garden

TheGardenLady’s Garden in Bloom

TheGardenLady’s garden is a flowering garden. I attempt to have flowering plants for as long as the year allows flowers to bloom.  I recently found the book Continuous Bloom by Pam Duthie in the local library and was pleased that I had almost every plant she suggested blooming in my garden. (I have more than Duthie suggests because she only writes about perennials and I have a lot of flowering shrubs and add flowering annuals.)

The earliest plants to flower in my garden are Hellebores, which open in the winter. Can you believe that one Hellebore plant is still in bloom? From that first flower, I insist on having flowers in continuous bloom.  Some of the flowering plants blooming now are echinaceas, buddleias, brugmansia, phlox, among others.  These blooming flowers are mostly along the street where there is most sun and fewest tree roots so everyone who passes the house sees the flowers. This is not a hidden garden.

Because of the problems of the property, my garden is not a particularly beautifully landscaped garden. But because of the visibility of the continuous blooms, the most interesting sociological phenomenon has occurred. This GardenLady thinks the phenomenon is amazing.  She thinks that someone should do a study about it. What has happened that I find so amazing is that every day, more than once a day, mostly when I am out working in  the garden, people stop to tell me how much they love the garden and how beautiful the garden is. I say that it happens mostly when I am in the garden, because sometimes when I am in the house people come to ring my door bell to tell me how much they appreciate the garden. Many of the people are neighbors or people that I know but most of the people are complete strangers. People stop their cars to tell me of their enjoyment. Many of these people have become new friends.  People tell me that they love seeing the flowers so much they purposely drive out of their way to see what is in bloom. Complements have ranged from “You have created a little piece of paradise” to “It is another world walking past your garden”  to a two year old asking if any flowers had more than one color. I showed him my lantana flowers.

When I grew up in the small farming village, this was a common occurrence. People would stop over to discuss gardens and plants all the time. But in the town I have now been living in for about 38 years, people were more formal. People would never just drop over. I missed the friendliness of the town of my childhood. But now my gardens have brought this friendliness back. As I said, I am amazed. Neighbors now drop over and strangers stop and talk or ring my doorbell and talk. This garden attracts people as it does birds, bees and butterflies.  I have met such lovely interesting people of all ages. Today a young man who looked like he was in his twenties stopped. I have been invited to see other people’s gardens – people who don’t live in my town. I now can give plants to people when I divide plants instead of composting the overgrown plants. People have offered me plants that I don’t have.

I can not tell you how much I enjoy this phenomenon. In a more and more impersonal world, my garden is bringing people together. Who would have expected?

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