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Masters and the acolyte

Guelph Matters column, by Chris Clark: I took the photograph of Eve Geisler and Rob Turland, found on Page 17 of the Tribune’s print edition.

They’re participants in this Sunday’s Guelph Horticultural Society garden tour.

The photo does not do their premises – and labour of love – justice. That’s because there are so many things growing there, it’s hard to capture it all in one shot. They are quite relentless, tireless and loving when it comes to tending to their gardens.

I know. They are my neighbours. I watch them toil in the soil every day. Let’s just say that they are the polar opposite of me. They garden. I lounge. Watching them makes me somewhat guilty. That’s why I am glad when the hedge fills in. I am then blind to their perpetual gardening.

We have been neighbours almost 20 years. As our children have grown, so have their gardens. One thing I have noticed over the years, though, is gardening is not work for them.  Sure, there is a work component, but I see  them getting a sort of meditative pleasure working the land.

I understand it, but quite simply it’s not for me. My idea of gardening is buying a bunch of stuff in the spring. I occasionally water it and then watch my garden grow. Much to my surprise it does, with some nice successes over the years.

And heck, if I have problems or questions, I just lean over the fence and ask the pros.

So impressed am I by their gardening prowess, I take pride in it as if it were my own. Whenever I have guests, I make sure to show them Rob and Eve’s mini-farm. And it’s bountiful too, producing a cornucopia of produce – and eggs  – all growing season long.

With this in mind, I sign off with a couple of pithy quotations about gardening.

Author Unknown opines, “Plant carrots in January and you’ll never have to eat carrots.”

Another Author Unknown points out, “Gardening is cheaper than therapy and you get tomatoes.”

Observes someone named Vera Nazarian, “The master of the garden is the one who waters it, trims the branches, plants the seeds, and pulls the weeds. If you merely stroll through the garden, you are but an acolyte.”

Guess who are masters and who’s the acolyte in my neighbourhood?


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