Monday, 8 June 2015

The kindness of strangers (aka our garden fairy)

I returned from the Post Office today to find a delightful little present on our doorstep. A pot of pretty purple toadflax - just perfect for a medicine garden. Tucked inside was a lovely note saying thank you for the pleasure our "little cottage garden has brought to a wayfarer". It's really for Mr M, who is by far the master of the garden, but it's just too delightful not to share. And it got me thinking about how lovely a gesture it was and how sad it is that we don't all do these little acts of kindness more often.

By chance we happened to meet this lovely person at one of the open garden events this weekend. We managed fifteen gardens in Weybridge and two in Byfleet. We had a brilliant time meeting the owners (one, an artist, kindly gave us a quick tour of his studio), nosing around their gardens and spotting the plants that grow well in the local soil. Several backed onto the river - ever so peaceful with the narrow boats gliding serenely past, another was full of rambling roses tucked behind a 16th century higgledy-piggledy house and behind the broad beans we stumbled across a competitive sweet pea grower at the allotments. We discovered a community tucked away from traffic and street lamps living in cabins on stilts with gardens full of sculptures sweeping into quiet backwaters and an uber-modern home that wouldn't have looked out of place in Sandbanks, Poole.

And we met our garden fairy. We started chatting with a lovely South African couple in one of the courtyard gardens, as you do when the same people are following the map at roughly the same time. She happened to mention that she lived in a road near to us. When we mentioned that we lived close by, she asked whether we knew the cottage with a certain coloured door and a cottage garden that had been planted up by the young couple…erm…that would be us…which resulted in the biggest bear hug for us both. She walks past our cottage on her daily stroll and has thoroughly enjoyed seeing Mr M's medicine garden come together and had been planning to leave us a little garden present from the garden fairy. And that she did. We don't know her name, or where exactly she lives in order to say thank you, but will plant it where she can see it and enjoy it.

Have you ever received a lovely act of kindness or have you been the secret gift giver?

1 comment:

  1. that's one of the nicest gardening stories I've heard. I love when plants come with stories. From a South African gardener, in South Africa