Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Soup & Soulmates: Kindness at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show

I am a story teller at heart. Big or small. Funny or poignant. I love to convey my personal experiences. I have been letting my time at the Northwest Flower and Garden show percolate and one experience stands out.

Table for 1: Eating lunch alone in a sea of people. It was lunchtime and the crowds were as hungry as I was. I had met a few magnificent people who work in garden writing (yea!) but the number of people I know in Seattle can be counted on two hands. Lunch alone was a foregone conclusion.

I bought a beautiful bowl of chicken ramen soup and searched for an empty seat. The table area was completely full of people and packages. I noticed 3 adults at a table for four and asked if I could join them. They graciously rearranged their food and packages to make room for me.
At my table was an adult woman and her husband who had come with her father on their annual trip to the garden show. I gave my animated summary of moving to Seattle for my husband's job, the fact that I still had to sell my house in Michigan and that I loved roses (and herbs and flower arranging and color) more than anything and that I couldn't wait to have my own garden in this new climate which has a far longer growing season than southeastern Michigan. And then I ate my soup. 

They noticed my show badge and I told them a little about that morning's Tweet Up (a pre-show gathering of writers to load social media with #NWFGS content). 

I learned that all three of them were specialists in various aspects of botany, garden landscape and horticulture. It was then that the mostly silent father slid a piece of paper over to me. He had written his contact information in detail onto a piece of paper and said that I was welcome to come see his garden this summer. He would tell me about all about everything on his land and show off his garden, one that had been photographed for magazines featuring the Pacific Northwest. 

I couldn't believe it. It was so very kind and completely unexpected. Then I remembered the rambling I had done about roses and flowers and more and realized that he probably felt the very same way. Kindred spirits come in all shapes and sizes and he could tell we were cut form the same cloth, just 40 years apart.

It is mid March now, but you can be sure that I will drive over to Tacoma this summer to get a very special garden tour. 


Debbie Teashon said...

Welcome to the NW. You will love it here! Although growing tomatoes will be a challenge. I too was at the Tweet Up.

Here's to great growing and your next beautiful garden.

Anne Reeves said...

Thanks, Debbie! I really do think that I will love it here - I've hit the botanical jackpot, as far as I can tell. I'm sorry that we didn't get to meet at the Tweet Up!