It has been another extraordinary week at The Potting Shed. Every day is like living in a wonderful dream. Interesting people in joyful mood, wander through our little shop, rain or shine and delight me with their stories. I think gardening does that … it attracts like minded people and the very subject of planting uplifts. Anyway, a week ago, just as we celebrated our first year anniversary at The Potting Shed, and in the midst of the late summer frenzy to get things planted before winter, we opened a new little shop called “The Green Room” … a colourful space offering indoor plants and special items for your conservatory or garden room. And that has been exciting. But even more exciting has been the steady stream of gifts arriving through our gate. Not anniversary gifts … just an amazing, on-going parade of offerings and random acts of kindness. Early in the week a customer who promised last spring, to bring me some of his very rare, miniature daffodils arrived beaming to hand over the promised gift. There in a little pot freshly dug from the garden, was a cluster of the tiniest stems already pushing up, and with glee he and his wife described the dainty treasure that would appear in spring. He had purchased the bulb 15 years ago for $15 … a fortune at the time. And, said his wife, way more than they could afford in those days. But now it has colonised in their garden and delights them every spring. The very next day, one of the monks from the Bundanoon Monastery brought in a container of delicious pumpkin and ginger soup for my lunch, along with a beautiful soapstone Amulet, as thanks for some plants I had given for their garden. How thoughtful people are. How kind. Shortly after another customer popped her head in my door grinning, and said “I found it” … and there in a crumpled brown paper bag were seeds from an Honesty bush she had spotted in a friend’s garden. Remembering a conversation we had had months earlier about how difficult it was to find, she thought I would like some.
Days later a little pot of miniature cyclamen, the progeny of bulbs smuggled in years before from Greece, appeared along with a bag of home grown grapefruit. A carton of free-range eggs decorated with wild flowers and prettily wrapped in ribbon was delivered from another customer and friend, flying past with a kiss as she was double parked out the front; and later that day a beautiful box of Lindt chocolate Easter eggs as a thank you for some cuttings I had passed on to one of our regulars. Books loaned, bags of Oriental poppy seeds, dahlia tubers by the bootful, rare plants shared, pretty paintings, birds nests and vases for my office, potted saplings of an evergreen Dogwood I had admired months earlier in a beautiful lady’s Bowral garden – the list goes on. It’s quite overwhelming.
And about this time last year, soon after we opened, a good friend left a small bag tied to the shop gate. The note simply said “For M.T.” I was curious. Who was MT? And then as I unwrapped the bag, there inside, wrapped in tissue, was a tiny little crown, hand made from wire and beautiful, vintage crystal beads. I knew then it was for Monsieur Tillier, our little canary who lives at the shop. And now that little crown sits grandly on top of his rustic cage. My heart is full to the brim as I think back over this first year at The Potting Shed and I well up inside at all the gifts it has given me and the pleasure had from sharing them all. I just want to say thank you to everyone who has stepped through our gate and warmed my day.