Saturday, July 31, 2010

A Good Gardener Grows Old

Brother walked by this house in West Asheville and he knew a real gardener lived here.

As Brother continued to walk by through the seasons he sensed that the gardener was no longer able to spend as much time in the garden. A good garden in West Asheville was going bad.

This good garden was approached to find an elderly couple in their 80's who had not been able to tend to their lovely garden as well as they would have liked in the last couple of years.

And so it came to be that a herd of other gardeners gathered to assist. In one quick cleansing purge, the upper layer of order was restored to a good portion of the garden. But this is a very good garden and it will need much more, on a regular basis.

That leaves me wondering if this was a good deed if it is only done once?

And if elderly gardeners in their 80's are going to become like adopted stray cats in this phase of my life.


Anonymous said...

Very moving post, Christopher. We will some day find out for ourselves what it's like to not be able to keep up our gardens anymore.


Carol Michel said...

What's one more cat to feed? Or one more garden to tend to?

Lisa at Greenbow said...

The blessings you receive will be more than you give. I am proud of you.

kenju said...

I'm not that old, but due to back trouble, I am unable to garden anymore.

Perhaps you could organize a group of younger gardeners who would agree to give several hours a month to this garden. What a blessing for all it would be.

Kitty said...

Kenju has a good idea. There are school groups that may find that a project worth taking on. The Evergreen School is one that comes to mind. ( My sister's kids go there and it's a very socially mindful place. Or, if older help is needed, perhaps the Future Farmers club at one of the high schools would be open to helping older gardeners in exchange for learning about how such areas are established and maintained.

Joyce said...

I love your post. It's funny while I'm out and about I see this. Most the time the people have moved and I imagine what the gardens were like. But it makes me think of my own garden and what it will look like when I'm no longer able to care for it!!!
You did a wonderful thing. And you will figure out for this couple what to do, thank you for filling my heart with such compassion.

Christopher C. NC said...

I wasn't the one who saw the need or organized the help. I just said ok to being one of the helpers. After being there, there is a very strong urge to go back. I just need to discuss it with the group first and see what plans they may have.

chuck b. said...

1) I struggle to achieve that "losing control of my garden look". 2) The idea of possibly being to old to garden one day fills me with unhappiness.

Gail said...

Christopher, gardeners really are the kindest most generous of souls! I think that this is exactly the kind of projects that many master gardener groups could take on~gail

Lola said...

What a poignant & passion filled post Christopher.
I'm at that plateau in my life. I wonder what my gardens will look like at the end. I'm already getting a glimpse of what is to come. I don't like it. I really miss being able to 'putter' all day.
I'm so happy that you were involved in this endeavor. That is you. The urge never leaves.