Tuesday, August 11, 2009


My gardens are very important to me (OK, they're not "my" gardens, they belong to the campground where I work) and I'm very protective of them. I'm out there every day caretaking, keeping things happy and neat and as weed-free as I can. I feed and water, and yes, I do talk to the plants -- more fun than talking to myself, dontcha know.

So, yesterday evening I was doing some watering, and a young boy about 10 or so came up to me and said "hey lady, wanna buy some flowers?" For an instant my mind went blank. I'm surrounded by flowers, why should I buy more? Then the light went on, and I asked, "where did you get the flowers?" "Over there." He pointed to one of my gardens.

After my inner scream subsided, I took a deep breath and said, as kindly and gently as I could, "you know, these gardens are for our campers to look at and enjoy, but not to pick." Then he went blank for a second. I said, "so you won't pick any more will you?" "No, ma'am. I'm sorry I picked your flowers."

The boy's immediate (and correct) response softened my ire, and I had to smile. How nice to have an innocent, polite, and cooperative kid, picking or not. He showed me and the gardens that he respected us. I really like that because nowadays it's a bit hard to come by from youngsters who've just been turned loose in a campground. They're like little wild animals who've been caged in a small place, and here they are, set free in acreage, with so many places to go and explore; probably they don't realize that they're trampling on some precious plant or new seedling, and I know this is a risk that comes with the territory. It won't make me stop gardening, anyway. Sometimes you just gotta go with the flow.

When I told the story to some of the other staff here (who know how protective I am), they laughed to the point of tears. Now whenever they see me, they ask "hey lady, wanna buy some flowers?" Brings a smile to my face!


  1. Hi Jeanne - great story! My mother used to plant the station grounds of the steam railway train we have near Melbourne (with Australian natives), and had the same problems with kids - I think she had some strategy but I forget what is was.

    I loved the poem you put on my site - and I have mentioned it on my latest post!

    Cheers - Robin

  2. Hey Jeanne: You made a bad day go away, when you said let me tell you what happen to me when I was watering the flowers. I still would had love to have been there to see your face. You have been a good friend and I will never forget you. We have enjoy working with you. Have a great winter.