Gerbera. Donna Gibbs

How stopping to smell the flowers can create a friendship

MY CHRYSANTHEMUM thief has struck again.

That's OK, he knows he can pick flowers out of my garden.

That's how we met and he has become my best little mate.

Each hug from my flower-loving-friend is worth a hundred chrysanthemums.

He has his own special plant he waters with his drink bottle on his way home from school.

His mother asked if I minded him picking my flowers. I said if I minded I would build a fence.

Wouldn't it be awful not to share my flowers and hide them away?

It's made me think - why do we grow flowers in our front gardens?

Yes, they look pretty and complement our homes, but that's not why I grow them.

Originally I planted flowers suitable for vases so I could take them to work to cheer up the area.


Flower gardens are time consuming, but I've found spending so much time out the front, I meet lots of people.

Children and parents walking to and from school, dog walkers, people going to the shop or just strolling along.

When someone stops and comments on the garden, I usually end up giving them a small posy or a cutting.


A yellow chrysanthemum from my garden.
A yellow chrysanthemum from my garden. Donna Gibbs

One day I gave a lad a stalk of hippiastrums that he was admiring.

When his father came out of the shop he recognised me. He was the son of an old friend and I hadn't seen him in 30 years. We were both very surprised.

So that's why I continue to grow flowers.

They look beautiful, they smell beautiful, bees need them and we need bees.

They are a wonderful conversation starter and a great way to meet your neighbours.

I can give a flower to anyone I like and it costs almost nothing, so next time you walk past a house with a front garden, stop and smell the roses because that's why they're there.

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