#1 rule of Garden & Kindergarten


There is a written piece called “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten” by Robert Fulghum. Rule number one is Share Everything. As the word Kindergarten means a garden of children, it is fitting that this rule is also the number one rule of gardens.

Yesterday I shared my garden with a relatively new neighbor. She lives about 5 houses down from me and had moved in last Fall. I had not had a chance to meet her yet. Her name is Ollie and I saw her out in her yard Saturday afternoon as I was leaving my house. I stopped my car and shouted that I had some plants if she wanted some. I stopped back the next morning to tell her that I really meant it. I mean, let’s face it, can you really trust weird people who shout things at you from their car?

Ollie came by and I sent her home with a dozen or so plants. I have plenty to spare. I have a little yard and a big love of variety. This means that each plant can only occupy a teeny-tiny space. And I have more than a few plants that never learned what the word “boundary” means. Ollie was more than happy to help me discipline these rebels and get them back in line.

Share everything. It is a hard phrase to actually act upon all the time. We are tempted to keep all this beauty and bounty to ourselves. After all, it was us who worked so hard to produce the results. It is tempting to keep our gardens hidden behind the house where only we can enjoy them and our overflow produce in the refrigerator until it rots because we are sure we can eat 20 lbs of zucchini before it goes bad. I feel sharp twinges of guilt every time something from my garden must go to the compost pile because I got greedy. I should have shared.

So today I will task you with following the #1 rule of gardening somehow. Plant a front porch flower-filled container, divide that overgrown hosta and give the extra away or share some of your over-abundance of lettuce with a neighbor, friend or co-worker. Do something that allows you to share a little bit more of your garden with the world than you did yesterday. I promise you that your kindergarten teacher would be proud.

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