A garden is more than plants and flowers. A garden is the story of a gardener.
Each season is a new chapter. Each plant and flower adds a sentence or two.
Some gardens are made up of many stories, when they are tended by gardeners who have come and gone, each adding their chapters to a long tale.
Sometimes, the story of a garden is a mystery. What was the gardener thinking? Where did she get that tree? What is that flower she planted there, that no one seems to know the name of?
Other stories become long odysseys, when gardeners stay for years in the same garden.
All the garden stories include comedy and tragedy, drama and suspense. They offer unforeseen turns of events. They cover life and death. They include interesting characters who come and go, each leaving their mark on the garden.
But no matter what else is in the story, the story of a garden almost always includes love and hope and a belief that by planting a garden, somehow the gardener has made the world a little better place.
If someone handed me a plant list and showed me a garden, I might remember the plants, but would I remember the garden?
Tell me the story of the gardener who tended the garden, and I’m sure I’ll remember the garden as a place where a gardener planted their hopes and dreams, and maybe watered it once or twice with their sweat and tears.
I’ll enjoy the garden much more, if I hear the story of the gardener, because a garden truly is the story of a gardener.