My friend and his wife had a garden. This was a few years ago now. Actually they worked on that garden for about forty years. She went off to Horticultural College to learn as much as she could because the two of them wanted to make the best garden they could. It was near Mount Macedon and although I have a photo of gardens in the area I will not show you theirs because I can’t ask them. They died about three years ago. It was not an accident or anything like that. They were older than I and they did most things together. He had a heart attack and she died, gently, about six months later.
Toward the end of their life together many of their friends suggested that they open the garden to visitors. They did. Their families, those that could, came up to visit and some stood at the front gate to hand out a brochure and a map and Gerry and Barbie just stood around watching the visitors as they wandered all over looking at the flowers and trees and pathways that had been developed with a lot of hard work and effort. When the gates were closed and the visitors had gone a few of us remained to have a glass of wine and a chat.
“Well. We won’t do that again,” said Barbie and Gerry agreed.
“Why ever not. It was a great success.”
“Maybe. But it was hard to know. Only about three people actually said anything. Some people looked at us and smiled or nodded, but most people just walked around and spoke amongst themselves and then got in their cars and went home.”
“But surely it was a success,” said Gerry’s brother. “I counted and there were two hundred and thirty four people came through the gate.”
“Yes and twenty of them were family. We know how much our family like the garden. But it would have been nice if some of the visitors had taken the trouble to say a few words.”
“Maybe they were a bit embarrassed and didn’t know what to say.”
“I wouldn’t have cared what they said. Just a little, ‘Thank You” or a “It’s a lovely garden” would have been nice,” Barbie said.
I couldn’t say much to change their disappointment.
Now, some people ask me where I get the idea for my stories. Well today is the anniversary of the day they opened their garden. I was cleaning up a box of papers and came across the brochure and I thought about it. And I thought how similarly I feel at times when I check my blog in the evening. On Saturday there were 278 times when people looked at my posts. And on only 21 occasions did any people say they liked what they read and only 7 comments were made. And looking back I can understand why Gerry and Barbie felt so disappointed. They put a life of hard work into their garden and it would have been nice if a few more visitors had said something.