Where Have All the Gardens Gone?

Reader Contribution by Heidi Hunt
article image

We are planning to downsize: move into a one-story bungalow in one of the city’s historical areas. Smaller house, smaller yard, smaller footprint all around. Of course, we must sell our house first. But we are bumping up against a selling problem we never expected – we seem to have too many gardens!

I guess I shouldn’t be all that surprised. In the last five years I have attended hundreds of open houses, looking for that just-right little property. And I realize in all that time I have seen only one actual vegetable garden. Oh, there were a few tomatoes plants growing next to a house and some herbs bordering patios, but actual vegetable gardens? Only one! Don’t’ you find that amazing? I do!

So, back to my house. Last weekend at the open house, a prospective buyer walked out on the patio and said, “Oh my, who takes care of all of this?” Now understand, my backyard is all of 35 by 100 feet. There is a lovely water garden, some flower gardens bordering the fence, a 15 by 25 foot veggie garden and the rest is grass. We’re not talking about acres of market garden to care for. The upshot of all this seems to be that fewer people view gardening as a pleasant pastime. How sad!

I take such pleasure in watching the yard redecorate with the seasons. Flowers come and go, leaves pass from green to yellow to brown, the grass shimmers when it rains and is a clean slate after a snowfall. And I have the privilege of participating in this cinematic drama with each seed and bulb I plant. Gardens are good for the soul.