I talk a lot about the garden being my therapy and how strolling its paths can lift my spirit, or napping on the back porch daybed restores my body. However, the best gift my garden gives is the joy of sharing its bounty.
One of my dearest friends is the result of sharing the love of flowers. As a new neighbor, she rode her bike around and stopped in my driveway entrance to greet me. I invited her up the path to take a closer look at the huge, crimson hibiscus bloom that had attracted her in the first place. From that point, our friendship blossomed.
Another friend initially came to my house as a worker. I can blame oregano for our connection! Because of a language barrier, we talk herbs, chickens, and native plants. She introduced me to and gifted me with a native Mexican herb that is used in the cuisine of her region. I give her all the oregano and thyme she could possibly need, and in return, I get a precious new friend.
Another new friend is from my salon. We’ve bonded over gardening stories. The give and take of shared rootings, cuttings, and seeds have resulted in the give and take of delightful conversation and banter.
I met yet another new friend after she interviewed me on TV about my book. We connected on several levels, one of which is the love of gardening. She is a pro at seed collection and planting her own seedlings. We have shared with each other seeds and plants that the other one didn’t have.
I also share my garden with my church family through bouquet needs: hospital visits, newborn celebrations, weddings, and lifting the spirits of the homebound. In return, through these gifting connections, I receive the joy of getting to know families. They bring their grandchildren or little ones over to explore the source of the bouquets. Undoubtedly, they are bubbling over with questions about chickens, flowers, lizards, bees, butterflies and whatever piques their interest in the garden.
My heart is overflowing with the joy of sharing. I’m the one on the receiving end!