Please sit down before you read this and make sure you are prepared for a bit of a shock.
Some people don’t like to garden.
Breathe now. Clutch a few seed packets in your hand. Look out upon your garden full of flowers to re-center yourself, then take a moment if you must to read that again, to reflect on what it means. Or avert your eyes and go on to some other post and forget you ever read that.
I realize it is entirely possible that some of you already knew this about people, and actually accept and like, even love, people who don’t like to garden. These people who don’t like to garden could be in your own family, in your neighborhood, or at work. You may pass them everyday in the hallway or at the local Starbucks and not know this about them. They look quite normal.
Many of these non-gardening people actual do like nice gardens and enjoy strolling down a garden path, admiring the flowers. But they often don’t care one wit what the flowers are called or how they might grow them in their own garden.
“Their own garden” might actually be a bit of a stretch when referring to the plants that might be around their house. Truth be told, they probably paid good money to have others create a garden for them. But we all know that they are merely leasing that garden. To own a garden, you have to garden in it.
We also know that the fact that that these people don’t like to garden does not make them “bad” people. They can be and often are people who contribute positively to society as a whole, just not by gardening.
Their reasons for why they don’t like to garden may seem irrational and trite to those of us who love to garden, or it may stem from some deeply rooted fears related to soil, plants, or an honest day’s work in the hot sun. (By the way, the fear of gardening is called kipourikosphobia, says I.)
Whatever their reasons for not gardening, it is not worth arguing with them about it. Nor it is worth trying to force them to garden. If you make them go out and work in a garden, and then foolishly try to garden along side them, you, and they, will both be miserable.
It is really for the best to let the non-gardener stay inside or sit quietly in a chair and watch as you, the gardener, busily, happily tend to the garden. Even if the work in the garden is hard and physically demanding, and it will be sometimes, keep a smile on your face, wear your best gardening hat and your special gardening shoes, hum a happy tune, and at all times make that non-gardener think they are missing out on the greatest experience of their life.
Because they are.