Daily writing prompt
What’s the one luxury you can’t live without?

While I was primarily raised in the wilds of New York City, there was a short period when I was about nine or ten when we lived in the suburbs of Long Island. The takeaway from that time was exposure to gardening. It happened in a roundabout way.

Walking home from school daily, a neighbor’s dog followed me along the fence and barked at me. One day it shoved a stick through the fence, and I threw it back. This started an afternoon ritual for both of us. The bored dog was looking to play, and the bored student on his way home looking to make a friend of the dog. Eventually, the owner noted that her dog had a new playmate every afternoon, and I was invited into the yard. She had a yard planted with perennial flowers and an extensive herbal garden. I became enthralled; some time that summer, she gifted me with my first plant, feverfew.
Before the fall, one plant had become a dozen, and my father had created a small garden bed for us on the patio of our apartment. That winter, we moved back to the City, and the little garden was just a fond memory for many years.
It wasn’t until the 1970s that I was living where I had the opportunity to have another garden. Since then, I’ve shaped gardens in improbable urban locations, industrial spaces, open countryside, and suburban plots. It’s more than a desire; it’s imperative for me to create a garden, even if it happens to be inside under lights.

Currently, I have floral and herbal plantings, a vegetable garden, and a woodland garden replete with a pond and a waterfall. Since we own this property, I’ve fully spread the garden throughout the lot.

My garden is a luxury that is both useful and necessary. Weeding, tending the garden beds, or just sitting and listening to the waterfall are peace-creating activities in a world where that is the true luxury.

12 Replies to “Gardens”

  1. In London a garden is definitely a luxury! In fact, any outside space is. We are very lucky to have ours, and it allows Le Roi to gad about and be Roi-like.

    1. Currently the cat and dog use the trails through the lot for hunting the wily chipmunk. HIM Xenia has inquired whether Le Roi’s game park is suitably stocked with game like frogs, chipmunks, birds and voles?

  2. That is so sweet about you and the dog. What a wonderful way to be introduced to the joys of gardening.

  3. The owner of the dog has gifted you with one of the utmost pleasures in life. One could never be bored having a garden.

    1. True, it was the sort of one of the great adventures of my life. It even became a focus of my career as a practicing anthropologist. My work on urban ethnic gardening became the basis for a program at the 1988 Festival of American Folklife.

      1. There are so many like you who have excelled in their careers because someone has opened their intellects to be enthralled. Good for you, Lou.

    1. That’s odd, Tracy. Maybe because of your verge restoration efforts I’ve always thought of you as a gardener. It’s just that when we work on habitat restoration role are more in an assistants role than one where we can do as we please.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: