Monday, 10 October 2011

Be the someone .... a story about planting flowers

A few years ago I moved in with my darling into his bright beautiful flat. Inside everything was vibrantly coloured and alive, a gorgeous welcoming space. Outside was a different story. The garden of the old manor house had been neglected and lay drab and bare. There were echoes of the glory it must once have been and yet no one had loved it for years.

And so I spoke with the neighbours. They all agreed 'someone should do something' and yet no one wanted to act.

'You don't want to plant anything, it will get nicked!' said one neighbour.

Each morning I would look out the window at the grey garden and think what a shame it was. Then I remembered a story about a couple who every day jogged past a bedraggled rose bush and every day said 'someone should prune that rose bush!'
Until one day they became the someone, and they pruned it...

... And so my darling and I went to the garden centre and came back with plants and seeds and bulbs. We began digging and planting and sowing and weeding. The sun set and still we had not finished.

'Oh, you don't want to leave them out! They'll be gone in the morning!' said the neighbour as he walked past. We decided to trust and lined the unplanted flowers up against the house.

In the morning we rushed down eagerly. The plants were still there. Again we dug and planted and sowed. Neighbours came with cups of tea and biscuits for us. People from down the street came to stop and admire our work and encourage us.

When we had finished, with aching backs and dirt smeared faces we looked at our efforts and felt a warm glow in our hearts. The old manor house with its flats seemed to stand prouder in the evening light. We dreamed of what it would look like as the bulbs came up and the vines grew.

A few weeks later we bought garden furniture and sat eating our cereal in the sunshine surrounded by flowers. 'Oh! That will definately get pinched!' said our neighbour staring at the new table as he went to get his morning papers.

The next day other neighbours were sat at it in the sun looking happy. 'It's fantastic!' they exclaimed and cooked us dinner that night.

As it grew warmer we had BBQs with neighbours who became friends. People from down the road would stop to chat as they passed by. Our bulbs flourished and our flowers multiplied. We learnt alot, what to plant, when and where. Each of our plants became like our children. We even grew tomatoes! A sense of community grew as neighbours began to use the garden and get to know each other.


One day a miracle happened ... the neighbour who had been sure everything would get nicked was out in the garden ... watering seeds. And he was smiling.


  1. Awe such a uplifting story, thanks for sharing it.
    <3 dotty

  2. What a truly beautiful story.. Well done on "being the change in the world you want to see!"

  3. Amazing what a bit of love can do! I helped build a community garden on the grounds of a disused factory/warehouse - we salvaged the bricks from out the back to make raised beds, local residents donated, brought or even bought compost for us to use, my mom & several other people turned up with surplus flowers, veg plants, seeds.. it was amazing! You may be able to see pictures here - - I can't believe how well its taken & grown! I know the people squatting in the building pick salad from the garden quite often, and it's open for the community to just come and sit, and chill.. :-)