Thursday, October 01, 2009

Master Gardener

My wife has a tiny garden in the backyard, where we are growing cherry tomatoes and green peppers, plus a couple of decorative plants. We also have a tinier garden in the front. Honestly, we're not much on gardening - don't have enough free time to give the plants the attention they deserve - but if you are, list member Susan B. has a site and a master gardener for you.

His name is, appropriately, Doug Green.


On my morning walks I always pass a little roadside cafe nestled in a spectacular garden setting. For years, I've stopped to stare at it and enjoy its beauty, nearly an acre of color changing with the seasons. I've often thought that anyone could have a garden like that, if we only had the same gardening staff employed by this restaurant.

But I'd always walked by too early to see any of the staff at work. One day, however, I couldn't get out for my walk until the afternoon. As I passed the cafe, I saw an elderly man emerge from a garden shed, carrying a tray of begonias. Seeing me as I stood there appreciating the garden, he invited me over for a closer look. I asked him if he was the Head Gardener. He shook his head and replied, "Just the assistant."

He explained that he had arrived here 27 years ago, from Hungary, and went to work at the cafe as their cleaning man. In his free time, he tended the restaurant's potted geraniums. At that time they were the only flowers in the garden. When he saw that the geraniums thrived, the owner allowed his custodian to plant some rosebushes.

My puzzlement grew as this old gardener explained to me how, year after year, he'd plant just a little more. A lilac here, a marigold there, a patch of tulips near the parking lot, until the garden had become the showplace it is today.

And I asked wonderingly, if he had done all this, "what does the Head Gardener do?"

The old Hungarian smiled and looked heavenward, then happily said, "He makes the flowers grow."

[Elizabeth Sherrill in Guideposts Greetings via Wit and Wisdom]


WISDOM for YOUR WEEK: "If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk, and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday. The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail." (Isaiah 58:9-11)


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