Cheap therapy

Plants are cheap therapy. And they’re even cheaper here in the hills of Delaware County.

My little town has an amazing group of folks who call themselves a garden club. What they are, more accurately, are garden addicts who like to get together once a month, share a potluck dinner, and rave about the host’s gardens.

It is my kind of club.

Last year, the club’s founder, an artist who may be one of the sweetest humans I have ever met, visited to give me some advice on what to do with this lawn-heavy former farm.


She pointed to a small square of grass between the driveway and the garage building.

“That. That needs to be a garden.”

“But it’s shady,” I objected weakly.

“Trust me,” she said. “Keep it small. Don’t get fancy. But every time you come outside, you’ll see it, and it will make you smile.”

I did it. One woman I know was getting rid of a ton of hosta. No charge. There was a roadside stand outside town selling pansies and coleus for a dollar a flat. No lie.

That majestic maple tree that died this year has yielded more wood chips than any one garden can use.

And now I have a garden I didn’t have last year.

My garden club friend was right. It makes me smile every damned day.

Read more installments of Village Voices by Susan Barnett.