From gardens where we feel insecure

Our garden share has fallen through, unfortunately. The circumstances are quite complicated to relate, but a précis would go something like this. Our sharer—the elderly woman with a garden—turned out to be simultaneously unwilling to keep in touch and also very demanding, a headily passive-aggressive mix. Last time we spoke a few weeks ago everyting was irie, and there was no rush; we should consider planting some seedlings ready for full-on spring—not her words—but nothing more than that.

Ringing her last weekend we were subjected to the sharp edge of her tongue, as she explained that in the past month everything had actually got very urgent indeed. She said we probably weren’t ready to help her out—that’s right, ready for the privilege of helping her out—and we should think about helping out at the local farm museum instead. That we clearly weren’t serious gardeners. That, although what she said contradicted what she had last told us, it wasn’t up to her to contact us, and we should have contacted her. Trying to explain that it’s hard to worry enough to ring her when her last edicts were not to worry: well, that fell on ironically stony ground.

I took it as politely as I could, and contacted the local organizer. She said the old bitch had been whining—not her words, either—at the previous meeting but nobody else could see why she overreacted so much. Anyway, the best I can salvage from all of this is that I think I’ve come across as the reasonable one. K. says she would’ve given the garden-sharer a piece of her mind and bawled her out, but I just didn’t have the heart.

She’s a user, and a whiner, and passive-aggressive; but she’s also probably long-term sick, has obviously bad arthritis or rheumatism, and is clearly emotionally damaged, which she wouldn’t appreciate me saying. She’s alone but doesn’t want to admit she’s lonely, and that eats at her a bit. She’d not want my pity in a million years, but she has it, and I’m happy to write off all the repairs, the trip to Carterton to get wood to fix up her raised beds, the running round, even—it boggles me to think about it—the offer to put her on the TPS online when she was getting nuisance phone calls—as a brief spurt of charity. That explains in my heart the lack of gratitude, and lets me draw a line under it.

Thanks to her advice, though, we’re now home to some two dozen broad-bean seedlings, and a dozen or so each of spinach and lettuce. They’re growing up fast and we’re not entirely sure what we’ll do with them. I’d like to give them a fair chance and hope to get some pots for them this weekend, but I don’t know how much root space they’ll need, and I doubt if we’ll get much yield from them. Still, we’ll have them under our noses—metaphorically, I hope, if there’s room in the garden—and nobody else can deny us access to them.

In our own garden, on our own property, is where we feel happiest putting them right now. Being let down like this has made us slightly—temporarily, I hope—Tory in our outlook on this particular issue: by Tory of course I mean insular, prejudiced, wary and scowling. But at least the wonderful, burgeoning, glowing, cheery growth we’re seeing from one day to the next means we’re still inclined to vote Green. With the Lib Dems second, of course: we’re not monsters.

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This entry was posted in charity, cliques, enmity, environment, friends, garden, here, lies, location, loyalty, near, society, understanding. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to From gardens where we feel insecure

  1. sbalb says:

    Good luck to you: we’re now on the allotment list, so we’ve decided to do it properly from here on in.

    Witney being Tory Central means that there’s not a lot of public land left unsold for allotments, so it can take over two years to get (half) a plot. Eventually, though.

  2. Pingback: As you sow | Small Beds and Large Bears

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