Garland Community Garden 7:48 AM March 8

The Garland Community Garden has its own special beauty—not unlike that of our City or even our nation for that matter.  You won’t find all the symmetry of a European garden.  Instead you will see a diversity of garden plots—each one unique, yet standing united together to create a great space for pollinators and for people.

Sometimes we don’t get validation for the things we create.  In fact sometimes we get resistance and criticism.  Even worse, but true, some people who create beautiful things never receive validation for their work when they are alive—Vincent Van Gogh is one example of this and I could name hundreds of others down through history.

Validation (approval from others that you are doing the right thing and even more importantly, that your feelings and emotions are valid) is important to all of us.  Ideally, we give and receive validation to others on a daily basis.

Iris and Ceramic Bunny Garland Community Garden – March 9, 2017 7:41 AM

Loving Garland Green is lucky in that we have received official validation from our community for our work and particularly for our stewardship of the Garland Community Garden from several sources.  In 2015 we received an award from our Mayor for our work and we won third place in a statewide award for community achievement given by Keep Texas Beautiful.  Our Parks and Recreation Department had a sign made for us that folks driving by can see and know that we are “official”. The day the Garland Community Garden opened for business, the Garland City Manager had a truckload of mulch delivered to the garden.  We’ve even gotten validation at a national level as well.  The National Wildlife Federation has certified the Garland Community Garden as a wildlife habitat.


Valentine Wish Delivered on March 6 to the Garland Community Garden

Informal validation often arrives as a beautiful surprise.

The informal validation we receive from the community is the validation that touches my soul and helps me to realize that our work in the Garland Community Garden is important and special to the people in our community.  As of yesterday, I now have a special place on my computer where I am recording all the validations I receive for the existence of the Garland Community Garden.  At the end of the year I’ll post them all here as a “Gratitude Log From the Garden.”

A Valentine Message in the Leaves

Some of the validation we receive for the work done at the garden belongs in the inexplicable category of the mystical, or religious if you would prefer.  Some might call it chance, but I’m not so sure about chance as even Sigmund Freud is quoted as once saying “There are no accidents.”

One silent form of informal validation comes when members of the community respond to our different campaigns for educating our community.  Monday, for example, I was once again given validation of the success of our November Leaf Campaign.  This campaign was undertaken for the month of November to raise community awareness that the leaves they put in plastic bags and place curbside go to the landfill.  Over the weekend, someone had left 23 bags of wonderful mulched leaves down at the garden.

On Monday, as I was emptying the 23 bags of leaves, out tumbled a perfectly intact valentine card. It was brand-new clean. I felt like it was meant for me.  I picked it up, read it and then tossed it in the trash. This morning, as I was writing this post, I decided to go down to the Garden and retrieve it.  As you can see from the illustration above, the message is still intact but, having survived a rain, the card is no longer clean.  Perhaps it is a metaphor--a message from the Garden to take better care of the gifts that I receive.

Unspoken Validation from a Stranger

Just as I was leaving the Garden on Monday, a battered pickup truck pulled in.  The driver, who was missing more teeth than he had, stopped and pointed to his eyes, then he pointed to the garden and patted his heart and then gave a "thumbs up".  I don’t know if he could not speak at all or if perhaps he could not speak English.  But it was such a sincere heartfelt appreciation that it brought tears to my eyes.  I patted my heart and blew him a kiss in return.  When I told the story to some Loving Garland Green members that night, the more religious among us told me that it was definitely an angel who visited the garden.

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