Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Gardener's Year and Gardening Friends

I received a sweet present from my friend Susan in the mail today, a copy of Karel Capek's The Gardener's Year, first published in 1929. And because it is a slim book and one I have been really looking forward to reading, I am trying to digest it slowly and not just gobble it up all in one night as I am apt to do, leaving myself with nothing left to savor tomorrow. Already I've read the two introductions to the book (one by Michael Pollan, the other by Verlyn Klinkenborg), the first short and sweet chapter, and am forcing myself to stop right now on page 7 after reading the lines "Let no one think that real gardening is a bucolic and meditative occupation. It is an insatiable passion, like everything else to which a man gives his heart."

I have been especially lucky in discovering and pursuing this insatiable passion because I have given my heart over to gardening (or was it stolen from me by the garden I wonder?) in places alongside many others giving their own. I was lucky that my first garden was in a community garden, ensuring that my thoughts about gardening would necessarily forever include thoughts and memories of other people, and I was incredibly lucky to study and work alongside not only the talented gardeners on staff at Brooklyn Botanic, but also my fellow horticulture interns (Susan and Anne included among them). To find a passion at any age is of course a fantastic thing all by itself, but a passion shared with friends is something else entirely.

My friendship with Susan is not solely based on gardening, but it was born and grown in a garden, the most beautiful one in Brooklyn at that.


frank@nycg said...

You are very lucky indeed!

Sweetgum Thursday said...

In some ways, yes. Perhaps you will be lucky too to get your hands on a copy of this little book.