This envelope I received in the mail today made me realize something I've noticed about gardeners. It is their generosity. They are always willing to share plants, flowers, cuttings, seeds, produce or their knowledge. It's the same giving nature they have when they tend their own gardens. Hoping to see other gardeners succeed or learn from their own mistakes. Maybe it's the fun of seeing divisions of plants thrive in someone else's yard. Whatever it is, the happiness is felt on the sides of both the giver and the receiver.
While visiting the cottage garden forums on Garden Web, where I usually just lurk, I asked if anyone could recommend seed catalogs, as I was looking for breadseed poppies. A kind woman graciously offered to send me some from her garden. She doesn't know me, and yet she still has that generous nature that gardeners have. This is what I found inside the envelope. A kind note, the poppy seeds (enough for my sister and I) and a surprise. Gromphena "Strawberry fields". I can't wait to see how they grow.
I couldn't help but remember other examples of gardener generosity.
While on a walk quite a few years ago I commented on a plant to someone out working in their yard. This man, a former neighbor of ours, stopped what he was doing and told me to wait. He then went out back came back with a shovel and pots and proceeded to dig up several clumps of the prettiest oxalis. It has become a favorite of mine to share with my friends and family.
Our next door neighbors own a small wholesale nursery. A business that is not always thriving, but they were so generous. Each spring our neighbors would bring flats of primroses to everyone on our street, followed by hanging baskets later in the summer, and then several poinsettias at Christmas time. Knowing how much my daughter and I loved working in the garden, he invited us to his nursery where he let us choose some perennials. There was large scabiosa he told us was a floral designers favorite. It grows the tallest and largest lavender flowers I've ever seen on a scabiosa. Sadly, he passed away 6 years ago from cancer. I still think of him every time the scabiosa blooms.
My best gardening friend is always asking me if I would like seedlings she has. Corsican hellebores, that are not cheap in the nursery are free from her. She's glad to see them growing where they have room.
When I was working as a visiting nurse I had one patients family member that would bring me carrots from his garden. He would insist I take them and share them. Nothing better than fresh carrots. Another woman, whose husband I was there to see, brought me an envelope of poppy seeds. This was when we rented a house, so I never got to save the seeds after the flowers were finished. They were a red peony type. Remembering those flowers are actually what inspired me to go searching for more breadseed poppies.
I have also noticed how generous with compliments gardeners, at least the ones I know, are. My friends and I like to take mini garden tours of each others yards, where we can point out our newest finds or ask about what grows well where. Nothing better that giving or receiving compliments for something that required a lot of work.
I am glad to see that my oldest daughter is also generous. She loves to work in the garden with me. She digs out clumps of grape hyacinths and brings them to our neighbor. She is also known to chase our friends down as they leave while she puts bouquets of flowers together for them.
The garden bloggers that visit each others blogs to offer compliments or advice is another form of generosity to me. It takes time out of these peoples day (or night) to not only visit your blog, but then to occasionally take the time to comment.
Maybe if more people gardened they would see how good it feels to give. Most of what we gardeners give is free to us, but when we see the enjoyment it brings to others it's worth more than money!