I decided to share my land with someone who did not have a yard. I thought this would be generous and a great way to work with another person on the garden.
Our big mistake was not being clear about whose space was whose.
Since I have a job, I have to work in the garden in steps. This means, I might put together a raised bed and leave it out until I can fill it with soil. That is exactly what I’d done one evening. I planned to leave the raised bed in the yard until I could figure out what would be the best sunny space to place it and then take another evening to fill it in with dirt. I also planned to take photos of preparing a raised gardening bed for this blog–and then write about it.
My gardening partner had other ideas. He and a friend came over and filled the raised bed with dirt and left the raised bed in the shady place where I’d stored it. They thought they were helping, but it did not help me at all.
Then, I saw my rosemary bush had been cut way back. This was my gardening partner’s idea of what he should do, and he put the fresh herbs in the compost bin. However, this is not what I wanted to have happen to the rosemary bush.
I was starting to feel like I had no control over my own garden.
Soon afterward, I asked my gardening partner not to move things or pull up or cut back my plants without asking me first. I felt hurt. He probably felt hurt too. My thinking was this: He could have his space and do what he wanted with his plants, yet I wanted mine left alone. I thought we had everything all set and figured out. Communication, we agreed, was important.
Then, I came home from vacation and all my garlic was gone.
I admit it. I wept over lost garlic.
It seemed like whatever I did was undone by my gardening partner.
I asked again for him not to pull my herbs and vegetables. In what universe, I thought, does a person think it’s okay to pull plants belonging to another person? I then specifically stated “do not pull out my potatoes.” I was scared I’d come home one day, and they’d be gone. He said he would not. He said he’d go work in the community garden instead because he did not want to ruin our friendship. I can’t help but wonder would he pull out plants that belong to other people in the community garden, or did he do that to me because he knows me?
That same week I received an email newsletter that said when things go wrong look for cause and not blame. Instead of blaming him, I figured out the cause. The cause is that, somehow, we did not communicate well enough to state whose plot was whose. I didn’t think I needed to state that my plants should not be pulled out. Now, I know.