Thursday, July 25, 2013

Simple Suggestion #174... Share some beauty and goodness

The hilly little park where I used to toboggan as a kid has been given a facelift by two generous gardeners. Well, at least one corner of it has.

Shadow and I were out walking back in June and I noticed a woman toiling away, planting hollyhocks and ornamental sunflowers beside a few of the pine trees on the edge of the park. When I asked her about the area, she said, "Well, the City wasn't doing anything with it -- to the point that it was weedy and overgrown -- so a few years ago, my neighbour started fixing up the edge of the park closest to his place, and I've just carried the process around the corner."

My pictures just don't do justice to the beauty two neighbours have created.

Since meeting the woman (whose backyard must also be amazing), the dog and I have walked past the park at least once a week to see what's happening bloom-wise. Now there are brown-eyed susans, lavatera, delphiniums, and even three columnar poplars that I somehow don't think the City planted. It's the prettiest corner to visit, and even has a planter of peonies and a busy bird feeder.

These two generous gardeners have created a lovely little oasis for birds, bees and human beings to enjoy -- and they can see their work from their back yards. I've also noticed that a rosebush and some poppies have appeared on another corner of the park, so the inspiration is spreading. The City likely doesn't know or care about what these people are doing because the corners of the park are out of the way of mowers, and hey, it reflects well on the City if they let voluntarily planted beauty be. I think the folks who have put in all that work deserve a little "Yards In Bloom" award all their own, though a park doesn't quite fit the bill. I'm not sure the City would like it if gardeners everywhere started stealth planting pretty things in neglected corners of parks without approval, but think how lovely things might get with a few more gardeners like the ones who did this!

It doesn't take much to share a little beauty and goodness in these sunny summer days. I've noticed, in a few places, that some of my neighbours have put out little signs that say things like, "Welcome to my garden," or "Help yourself -- Sharing garden." This year I've put five cherry tomato plants outside my back gate, and I need to make a little sign inviting my neighbours to enjoy their fruits once ripe. At the moment, it's a pretty little spot with sunflowers, and blooming delphinia which won't last... but soon, there will be tiny red tomatoes for passers-by. They could also help themselves to the scarlet runner beans, I'm sure... but I expect the birds will take care of the sunflowers once the seeds are set.

my sharing garden
Sharing beauty and goodness can happen in many different ways -- all it takes is planting some flowers in a corner, or putting out a pot where people can enjoy something colourful. There are also even simpler options like posting a positive thought where someone else can find it (check out these "Sticky notes left to their fate in public places" on a blog called Things We Forget), whistling a happy tune for someone else to overhear, or decorating your own face with a smile when there are other people around...

What will you do to share a little beauty and goodness in your world today?

P.S. Looking for more Simple Suggestions? Click here.


  1. My other half and I have many, many strawberry plants growing in our little allotment, and they're doing their spreading-around thing. We've potted some of the baby plants, and we'll be taking them on one of our favourite walks - to plant them by the footpath to be enjoyed by other walkers when they fruit next year.

    We're doing the same for the foragers with chives and a bunch of other herbs, and will be randomly throwing handfuls of wildflower seeds around the 'wildernessy', untended areas. Not only will they be beautiful, but the local wildlife will benefit :)


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