Wednesday, June 2, 2010

I Got My GARDEN Feelings HURT....

I was out front fighting with my hose and sprinkler last week, when a nice lady walked up to me...she was the daughter of a elderly  neighbor on the corner. She asked me if my electricity was off, a power crew was down the street working on something.
I said , " Yes, but it should be back on soon. " 
She then stood there in my front yard, and we introduced ourselves to each other. She was a quintessential Southern lady, who's ancestors went back to General Lee probably.
I on the other hand am a Texas-born transplant dragged here to the Deep South, South Carolina, when I was a few weeks shy of 10 years old. My Texas heritage goes back about 5 generations or so, so I am more the brash-bold Texas style woman , living in the land of Steel Magnolias.
There is a point to me bringing that up, stay with me here...
Somehow we got onto the topic of her husband passing away from cancer at 55 yrs. old, I then told her about my mother dying of a heart attack 2 1/2 years ago at 65 years old.
We both commiserated and verbally discussed how you need to tell the people you love, while they are still alive...that you care , love and appreciate them.
You may not get a second chance.
She told me her husband was a landscape designer.

She then explained she was the president of a garden Club, and they were having a tea on Sunday would I like to come ?
I sort of froze a bit, it would be alot of Southern ladies , sipping tea and talking about everyone they knew, and I did  not know if I would feel out of place.
Actually , I DID know I would feel out of place...but I told her I may be able to come.
Then Mrs. Bright Idea said, " Would you like to come in the back and see my garden ?"
She said , " Yes, " and I took her down the drive in the side gate.
This is what she saw from that angle. wait, it was more this,

Here she stood, we both stood here about 5 feet apart.
This is how it went..
or how it didn't go really.
I looked at her,
she looked at  the garden,
she never moved,
she had a sort of smile on her face..
I became uncomfortable as she did not say ANYTHING about my garden !
This went on for about 5 minutes ( felt like 50 minutes ), I kept looking at her...and nothing.
I felt like a little kid showing my kindergarten masterpiece to my teacher , and all they did was stand there !
I was really getting my garden feelings hurt...then ...she finally spoke,
This is what she said..she pointed to a large old Camellia bush, past it's bloom time..and she goes, 
" I see you have some big Camellias back here. "

I looked at the Camellias, which by the way I did NOT plant as they have been here a good 50 + years, and said , " Yes, they've always been here. "

I waited again, she just kept looking around and saying NOTHING.

Then I said through my hurt garden feelings, " I need to finish this path, I need to fix my mulch, I need to sweep up, rake up..." etc. blah-blah I went about everything that I then could see was wrong with my garden and yard.
It all became magnified to me.
She listened to me some and then said with much smiling...I actually got my hopes up that she saw SOMETHING she liked.
She goes, " You know, you would like so and so's garden as she likes to find stuff and use it in her garden too."
My hopes were squashed and I felt like she had said, " Her garden looks like the city dump like yours does. "
Really, I swear I was allowing this garden club President to diminish my view of my own garden.
To change my perception of my little creation of plants and flowers and found bricks .

She never even moved from her spot, as this is the view I wish she could have seen, the way I planted it to look from the windows of the house.
Probably wouldn't have made her say anything anyway.

She then had to go, and I told her I may come to the tea if I could. She was very pleasant, and I said bye-bye.

I then went back into my garden and looked at it again, and again became very critical of what I saw. Then got mad at myself for allowing this sweet Southern Steel magnolia of a garden club President  to make me feel like that.
There is a sort of happy , unusual ending to this...I will write about it in my next post...
Stay tuned,
Oh !
Don't let anyone else's UN-REACTIONS to your gardens steal your joy.
Oh, and another thing...if someone takes you back to their garden..say SOMETHING nice about it. I say something nice about everyone's gardens that I see. Even if it is just a container of flowers on the front porch.
My lesson for the day,
Bless you !


" All things bright and beautiful , All things great and small, All things wise and wonderful ; Our Father made them all. 
Each little flower that opens, Each little bird that sings;
He made their glowing colors, He made their little wings.."

Old Hymn by Cecil Alexander 1800's
All Things Bright and Beautiful 


  1. Oh Gina! I know how you feel! I have had similar experiences with some people whom I thought were garden lovers.... and they don't say boo about my efforts when they visit. In My opinion, someone who REALLY loves gardening and gardens will notice and comment upon even the slightest little ground cover. This says more about the Magnolia than it does your garden. And I know for sure I would LOVE your garden and notice EVERYTHING! You are right NOT to let this bug you. The work you are doing is for your own peace and happiness..... but it is always nice when our gardens bring pleasure to others as well. To bad she didn't get it.

  2. See, I knew I couldn't be the only one hat this has happened to ! It DOES say something about whether someone is a garden lover or not, I agree. I do know some people are not as open with their opinions as well. You made me feel better !

  3. How AWFUL for you! Some people are such SNOBS.

    Try not to let it get you down.

    Your gardens are lovely and inspire me to work more in my own.

    Love and hugs ~ FlowerLady

  4. You are so kind Flowerlady ! I do not know if she was a snob, or just did not like my style of gardening . I know that my reaction to her is MY responsibility. But I'm pretty gimpy lately ! thanks much, Gina

  5. I KNOW I would have felt the same way in your shoes (as you describe the situation so far). I sometimes feel that way in my own mother's presence. She likes everything manicured and consistent with prevailing style.

    Then I remember that I am ME and she is....well, SHE!

    Gina, you know that I feel privileged to have found you, to learn from you, and to enjoy the view through your camera's lens.

    I look forward to the unusual and "sort of happy" ending to this....

  6. Thanks much Rebecca, there s a happy ending, you will like it. Will get it on tomorrow hopefully ! Gina

  7. Gina, I think you are very kind to her when calling her a Southern lady. A real lady would never allow herself to make another person feel uncomfortable. Your garden is lovely and has a character - something that many manicured gardens lack.

  8. Well, your garden is beautiful and I am just looking at your photos. So, I can imagine how pretty it is in person! I agree with the first comment from Jeri. People that truly love gardening and appreciate nature will react to a beautiful garden. Before I used to garden I overlooked and didn't notice the little things that make a garden beautiful.

  9. You, and your Garden ROCK, Gina!
    This comes from a Montanan who consistently grows ping pong ball sized potatoes...

    Come Summertime it would be fun to trade talents for a week or two, then i'd invite that Lady president over for a julip and see what she said about my potatoes.

  10. Yes Amy , I am not really sure how much she liked gardens, even being a garden President. She may like the social aspect of it.

    Thanks TJ, again, your talent as an artist is ( to me ),is a more superior talent . Keep up your excellent painting !

  11. Wow, that is just really rude. I can imagine it made you feel bad, and even worse about something you love. I think your garden is beautiful and lush and very personal looking. I love how it looks. Even though my mom often compliments my garden her comments of how crowded the plants are really do make me feel bad. She says it at least once a summer. Now I just say, "I know it's crowded, just how I love it!"

  12. Someone said to our last garden. Proteas and huge boulders from Table Mountain. So when are you going to rip all this out and start a garden? You know, a lawn?

  13. Thanks Catherine , I think I made this woman sound worse than she was...I believe we are touchy about our gardens !

    To Elephant's Eye, My husband would prefer a big open lawn with bushes surround too. People ( me included ), can inadvertently say rude things right ?

  14. Gina, I love your garden only wish I had the opportunity that Steel Magnolia had to see it in person. Thanks for stopping by and seeing the butterfly pics. Your blog is such a great place to visit.
    Blessings as you toil in the Master's garden!!!! Meg

  15. Your garden is lovely! I know that my garden would never pass muster to become one that fits into what some garden clubs or societies see as being "right". But it's not that my garden isn't beautiful (because it darn well is!!); it's just that it doesn't fit with their style. It's like comparing a beautiful log cabin or a tudor home with a southern mansion -- just a different style.

  16. Oh my Gina! I would have felt exactly the same as you did! And I LIKE your garden, it is unique (in a good way) you find the beauty in the putting other items with your plants!

  17. Hmmm, I have to agree with Tatyana's assessment.

    I'm sorry that happened to you. It's happened to me too and it sucks. Sometimes peoples' rudeness can just take one's breath away.

  18. HI , Meg, Sandy, Melissa Jo , & Sweet Bay,
    Thanks much for your commiseration , and thanks for the nice compliments, Gina

  19. Your garden is so beautiful along with your inspirational words! I live in central Florida and it makes me want to get out in my garden and plant more flowers. I love the creative things you use in your garden! Don't let anyone take your garden fun away!! Its yours to do what ever inspires you!! I hate stuffy rows of plants and using expensive statues. I have my moms old wrought iron table and chairs she had in her kitchen. It now sits in my garden and I look out and think of her everyday! It is the most beautiful thing in my garden to me !! Thats all that matters !!! ITS MY GARDEN!

  20. Thanks much Ginny , you are lucky to have your Mom's old wrought iron set ! such sweet thoughts, take care, Gina


I love comments , please leave one if you like. I try to respond to comments,but if I'm running behind, please know that I read each one before they are published. Thanks much, Gina