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Other People’s Gardens

Report From PIA – March 25

I was going to write about the Boston Flower Show today, but something much, much more important has come up. Someone I am friends with on facebook was put out yesterday when I posted a smartass comment about the Republicans, with a link to a Huffington Post article. She would rather see posts about gardening, she said, than feel alienated by my political distain.

I know just how this facebook friend feels. I have other connections on this social networking site whose conservative politics make me cringe. Worse are the angry, hate-filled comments their posts elicit, which cause me to worry about the sanity of my fellow citizens. Sometimes I write a response, but often I roll my eyes and move on. I do, however, find ways to tell these friends about the ways I value them beyond politics. Staying connected is important.

This goes far beyond gardening. As I thought about this blog entry I knew I could begin by talking about how I would never put some plants in my garden that you might love in yours. For example, a caller to GardenLine recently mentioned how lily of the valley was a great groundcover for shade. I said that I hate lily of the valley because it takes over and looks like hell from July on. There was lily of the valley at Poison Ivy Acres when we moved here, and it was one of the first things I ripped out.

We have different preferences and beliefs that reach far beyond which plants we choose for our landscapes. This is an important issue because it speaks to the future of the entire world.

We need to find a way to live with each other. We have to be able to be neighbors, fellow countrymen and world citizens even if we have different political or religious views. End of story…or it will be the end of us.

I may not love or write about the plants or politics you think highly of, but we can still embrace the fact that we’re growing our lives together here on the third planet from the sun. We can move way beyond your love of lily of the valley and my disgust with the Republican Party, and find all of the other ways we connect. A peaceful world depends on it.

Tomorrow, the Boston Flower Show, I promise.

Today as I walked the flower show with Lynn Felici-Gallant, of www.indigogardensllc.com, she loved the displays with moss and stone. I merely liked them. As the Paul Simon song goes, "One man's ceiling is another man's floor." In the flower show, the garden, religion and politics this is so true.

6 Responses to “Other People’s Gardens”

  1. 1
    Sara K.:

    Well done.

  2. 2

    I have long been of this opinion, and extend it to religion as well… although that is sometimes a more difficult stretch for me personally. Gardening and appreciation of the Creation can and should be a place of peace and common ground.

    I am conservative in my politics, which I find is the minority in the garden world I inhabit (both on and offline), but I believe in letting people be “who they are” and appreciating the side we share, as you do. I much appreciate your post.

  3. 3
    CL Fornari:

    You’re right, Ilona, it is difficult, especially when we don’t know someone well. It’s easier to see the whole person when you know them, but it’s also easy to want to make people one dimensional: she is a garden person, he is a teacher, they are Republicans or those folks are Democrats. We are all far grander than this, aren’t we?
    Thanks to you both for being here, and commenting.

  4. 4

    Good Morning: Good post well said. We have not been to the Boston Flower Show yet. This week end is busy, UHN Green houses and Seacoast Home & Garden show on Saturday, Boston Flower Show on Sunday. Plus whatever Gardening at home we can sneak in.

    Enjoy your day,

  5. 5
    CL Fornari:

    Thanks, John! As you’ll read in my post tonight, it’s worth going to the Boston Flower Show just to see Paul Miskovsky’s cottage garden display. Masterfully done – more about this later.

  6. 6
    Simple Organic Gardening Tips:

    That was a really well written post. I look at my gardening principles just as I do with my political veiws. Keep up the great work with your blog!