A visit from a garden fairy god-person

March 10, 2010

Green Lotus peony ~ A gift from a garden fairy god-person

I have never met a fairy godmother, but I once was visited by a garden fairy god-person, and I have a unique and beautiful peony growing in my gardens to prove it.   The story behind this peony might seem far-fetched, but it is a true example of the enthusiasm and generosity that gardeners share.

Quite a few years back, I was cleaning house and getting rid of old magazines and nursery catalogs.  My daughter, who lived in a city 30 miles away, offered to take them off my hands and donate them to the magazine exchange at her local library.  Off they went, and I thought that was the end of that.

And then – a month or so later my phone rings.  And some stranger introduces himself and says he picked up a copy of a Klehm’s Song Sparrow Nursery Catalog that was at his library’s magazine exchange, and was wondering if it had been mine because it had my mailing address on it.  And he had noticed that I had marked a certain unusual peony in the catalog, and he tells me that he himself has that same unusual variety and is wondering if I had purchased one for myself.  When he found out that I had not actually purchased it, he asked if I would like a start from his peony.  And that’s not all….. when I mentioned that we lived 30 miles away from each other, he said it wasn’t a problem and that he could drop it off for me the next day!

It was all a bit baffling, and I was a bit nervous about this stranger coming over.  What if he wasn’t who he said he was, how could I know?  And why would he drive 60 miles to deliver a plant gift to a complete stranger?  My doubts were ungrounded, for the next day he showed up with a nice, healthy peony division for me.  We chatted gardening for a while, and then he proceeded to go on his merry way and left me to plant my new peony.

Each year when the unusual blossoms of my ‘Green Lotus’ peony are in flower,  I am most humbly reminded of the generous gardener (or garden fairy god-person) who shared it with me.   I can’t remember his name anymore, but the experience is engraved into my heart.

Have you ever been unexpectedly gifted from a gardener or fairy god-person?

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5 Responses to “A visit from a garden fairy god-person”


  1. Great story. Never underestimate the kindness of strangers!! More gardening blogs please!! I am just a novice and I enjoy your expertise!!

  2. Beth Says:

    How sweet, never underestimate the kindness of gardeners 🙂

    In the spirit of your story, I too have a garden related fairy god-person. After talking with a friend about the abundance of worms in her compost, I came home several days later to find a pickle jar full of red wigglers on my doorstep! I never thought I would get so excited about worms! I returned the favor with a gorgeous butternut squash. Kindness is contagious.

    • 33barefootlane Says:

      Oh Beth, I just love this! A gift of worms – only a gardener would really appreciate it. Or maybe a mommy if it was a gift from her son. Thanks for making me smile! 🙂
      Cheryl

  3. Jim Says:

    Beautiful story and a beautiful peony! Gardeners truly are special people.


  4. What a wonderful story. I blogged this week about serendipty in gardening, and this is a wonderful example of serendipity in life and in gardening!


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