|Back in March of this year, a small group of my gardening friends out of support for one another, decided to help one of our friends who'd had a difficult past year. Due to family health problems she couldn't get out to work in her garden and keep up with all of the things she wanted to do. So, we put together a plan to help her. We picked a day we would come out, decided what lunch fixings we each were going to bring and the details of the visit. We were set.|
When the day arrived we met mid-morning so we could enjoy a cup of coffee before heading out to work. We had all brought our tools and plants to share from our own gardens. After a bit of direction on what to do, we dug in and started planting, moving plants, filling containers and cleaning out the greenhouse. Time flew as we helped each other with the things we could handle. Interestingly, the balance was wonderful. A few women are older and have limitations, but their garden knowledge was phenomenal, while some of us have stronger back and able to lift bags of soil and dig holes. It all worked out and within a few hours we swept through the garden adding new life and encouragement to our dear friend. When lunchtime came we all shared about how fun it was and we shouldn't stop there. We should make the rounds to each of our gardens within the next few months. So that's what we've been doing. Trading plants and giving each other a helping hand in the process. -- So much fun!
OUR ONLY RULE - We wouldn't pull weeds!!
It made me wonder WHY isn't this done more often? It reminds me a bit of the trades made in the old days of things such as a barn raising or crop harvesting time. People often came together to help one another. It just changes the attitude from both sides. Helping in someone else's garden seems less like work AND it was humbling to have help in mine. All around it was amazing.
And, In some ways it held me accountable for preparing for my garden visit and it also made me mindful of what plants I had to share with my friends. Also, after visiting around, it was easier to see what my friends could use that I had growing here. As a result, I think our garden help is going to be a part of our regular social time together for years to come. I wish we had thought of it earlier.
Starting a gardening group is fairly easy. All you need to is a plan and a bunch of people you enjoy spending time around. It can be family or friends with varied skills. Just a willing heart and a bit of sweat and I think it will change how you view gardening.