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One of the peach trees in my front yard - July 17, 2018

This morning I was thinking when I was down at the garden watering and harvesting some produce to take to Good Samaritans tomorrow about the blackberry bushes in the garden.  25 of the 30 blackberry plants we have at the Garland Community Garden came from shoots of four blackberry plants in my own front yard.  In addition, I have donated 30 blackberry plants over the past three years to Loving Garland Green’s various plant sales.  It’s amazing the outreach to the community that these four plants have achieved.  And of course, in a very organic way as steward of these plants, I too am connected to these plants and to the web of my community.

After watering at the Garland Community Garden,  I was home and picking some blackberries from the bushes in my front yard when I thought of this connection again.  

I was watering my three peach trees, which are loaded to the max this year, when two beautiful Japanese women stopped to talk.  I think they were tourists.  Their English was limited and my Japanese nonexistent, but somehow we communicated any way.

Once again I forgot to take a photo.  (I guess the heat was making me light-headed.)  One of the women asked for a healthy peach, or so I thought.  She was actually asking for a branch that had a healthy peach on it.  Finally I understood and gave her a branch that had a healthy peach on it.  Either I was mistaken about the two women being tourists or perhaps they were going to graft the branch onto a tree of the person they were visiting somewhere here in the neighborhood. 

Again I thought of connections to Garland and to my neighborhood in particular.  Perhaps this is the only opportunity for my immortality.  I’ll live on through the plants I’ve shared with others. 

These two women randomly stopping to talk reminded me once again of that time back in May and June of 2013 when I dug up my front lawn and planted a garden.  My back yard is a forest so I decided to dig up my front yard and replace my lawn with a garden, more or less modeled after a woodland forest garden. 

In 2013 I had lived in my home for 9 years.  At least once or twice a week I was in the front yard, mowing grass or pulling weed or fertilizing the lawn and not one person ever stopped by to chat.  During the first week of my efforts at digging up my lawn, several people, complete strangers, stopped by to talk with me.  After that first week I started keeping track of the number of people stopping.  From about mid May until the end of June 2013, I counted 112 people who stopped to talk with me.

 

Conclusion:  Gardens bring people together. (Many of the folks who stopped by are still my friends today.)

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