I love community gardens
and I love community gardeners.
Can you imagine loving gardening and wanting a garden
that you will drive somewhere and make time
to have a little plot of land
with other like-minded gardeners?
So when I was at the Virginia State Arboretum recently,
I found myself wandering out past the beautifully manicured gardens
and over to a rather wild assortment of plantings that turned out
to be the Arboretum's community garden!
It was the flash of the zinnias (my favorite flower)
that drew me over. Take a look!
This plot contained a truly elaborate trellis
system covered with different kinds of beans.
Now, one thing we all know is that ALL gardens
start looking like hell in late August.
Show me any gardener who invites folks to tour
her garden in August and I'll show you a masochist.
Who wants to weed and sweat?
Who's going to plant in August?
But, check it out!
Even in this one abandoned plot,
full of weeds and mildew -
what's holding forth? Full of color?
This gardener had pretty much devoted his (her) entire plot to zinnias -
maybe a few beans?
And, in the plots that were still being cared for - look at them shine!
Sorry about the finger in the photo but I really
wanted to show this one plot, now pretty much done -
but why on earth do you suppose the sunflowers
are in FLOWERPOTS?
Don't you wish the gardener was there so you could ask?
Oh, and look how charming the main path through the garden plots looks -
everyone's flowers and herbs create such a fine border!
I didn't get a photo of all of the plots -
one was all varieties of tomatoes,
one devoted to melons.
Many were done for the season and carefully
cleaned and "put to bed".
In every set of gardens like this, you'll almost always
find one resident herb gardener whose plot
is a riot of fragrant and delicious herbal treats.
And I find gardeners to be both whimsical and kind.
Taking one last look on my way out, I noticed one colorful plot
also hid a little home for a toad!
Gotta love gardeners!
And especially those special souls
who make up the community gardens in towns
all over the country. Hope all of you had a great year!