It’s well into the garden season now. The daffodils, narcissus, tulips, and dogwoods have finished their show. The alium and iris are blooming. Peonies and poppies are budding. I can see a hint of the hydrangea to come. The fish are getting a little less skittish after not having been with us all winter. Some are new to us, and socializing is in progress. Already a couple garden parties have been thrown. Me, being the typical gardener when given a compliment on the state of the yard, replies “you should have seen it last week”… or “don’t look too close”…. always thinking about the weeding that still needs attention… or the thing that isn’t what I envisioned yet… etc etc. There’s always an end we’re trying to accomplish.
Maybe it’s because we live in an emerging neighborhood, but it sometimes surprises me the number of people who are watching the progress. It HAS come a long way from the vacant overgrown lot that was what we started with. I guess I think of our street as an aside… not a main artery that a lot of people travel down. Or at least not slow enough to give much notice to our garden and farming passion. More people walk by the grounds than I realize. Every now and then I’m made aware that maaaaybe we’re adding some value to the neighborhood. That wasn’t necessarily the intention, but I like to think it’s a byproduct. It’s nice to think that others enjoy the view from outside as much as we enjoy the view from inside. Really though, I just can’t imagine living in a house without a garden. A life without the pleasure it brings. The sterility of an empty lot and a house without an outside living area.
We try to host when this or that is in bloom. When it helps with a community function. And we invite the interaction that comes with it. But the response to it sometimes halts me. As outsiders to our lifestyle come in for a view, and their gut reactions to what we’re trying to achieve is expressed, I sometimes get out of my bubble and see it from outside. Something that I forget about as I go through my wrestling and in tuning with nature. For me it’s just what you do. For others it’s overwhelming. The question comes up, “how are you going to sell this property with all this garden and farm area?” I always pause in response because it’s not my end.
To the house flipper this is overkill. To the un-gardened this is unimaginable. But the end game isn’t to flip the house to make it more valuable. It’s true that some wouldn’t want the property because of the garden… but then there are those like me that would buy the house BECAUSE it’s a garden property. I would probably buy a house FOR it’s garden. And actually I did. I bought the place not because the house was perfect. Far from it. I bought it for the potential of it’s garden lifestyle. I could imagine the grounds that would become my love. Someone will see those installations and their heart will pound. And they too will buy the property not because of the sterile house. But because the potential lifestyle it affords.
Jim’s response to a guest may have been my go to from now on… “This property has been many things. It was a farm in the 1800s. It’s been a residence. It’s been a doctors office. It’s been a boarding house. It’s been apartmented. It will constantly change as time goes on. Right now it’s a garden home for us.” I suppose inside I know that it will change, and it will develop. I know a garden lasts as long as the gardener. But that’s the endgame for me. A place to live. A place to love. A place to let my imagination flourish. There is no final end. My “end game” is to live in a happy garden home that brings life to us, to nature, and hopefully to the community.