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Spreading the Love

Adventures of a Landless Gardener:Have Garden Tools, Will Travel.

Let’s be honest—there are only so many garden books and magazines one can read and only so many "one day" and "if I win the lottery" gardens one can sketch before you have to get your hands dirty and work with plants. This presents a bit of a dilemma if you are a landless gardener.


To rectify this little dilemma I thought about weeding the neighbors’ yards under cover of darkness, maybe even adding a few annuals for a splash of color. Not that I would really do that, I think. Can you imagine the conversation in the holding cell if I got caught?

Me: “What are you in for?”

Cell Mate: “Grand theft auto. Wha’d you do?”

Me: “Unauthorized use of a garden trowel.”

Yeah, nothing good can come of that.

Luckily, my sister and her family moved into a new townhouse. With two small children, she does not have lot of time to garden. Plus, she is simply nice and lets me play in her yard when I get the garden urge.

That was how I found myself in garden bliss, ripping out ivy and weeds and resetting the brick edgers in her back garden. All the while, my sister watched with a bit of a puzzled look on her face. “Are you having fun?” Oh yes I was. And then there was her front garden, which also needed a facelift. Gardening and plant shopping in one day—does it get any better? It does.

When I had my own garden, I lived on a dead-end road. It was very quiet. There were a few visitors who asked to look about the gardens, but all-in-all, it was solitary. When I borrow my sister’s garden, I get to give the gift of a new garden and spend time with her family. For me, the best thing about gardening is the way it brings people together, family and strangers alike.

Fair warning, landless gardeners. Once word gets out that you have tools and will travel, you will have more gardens to play in than you can image. In fact, if you look closely, you will find garden adventures that allow you to plant to your heart’s content in an area you can call your own. Have you checked out your local park? Choose wisely. The garden world is vast and exciting. Make certain you have time to enjoy all its treasures!

Jenny Koester is a landless gardener in Cincinnati. Rad more at her blog, The Garden Life.