Robin (Bumblebee) asked this and I was going to just email her the answer, but what the heck, she’s not the only one who's asked. So here it is.
No, I do not drink and garden at the same time, unless the beverage is coffee, diet soda, or water. However, we (me, my husband, friends, relatives, neighbors, co-workers, and often people who are just about complete strangers) often gather in the garden during the warm months to drink and eat. I often have meetings with writers in the garden, and I’ve held late afternoon board/committee meetings with various volunteer groups in the garden. Generally speaking, most of us are drinking wine, cocktails or beer during these times. The garden, for us, really is an outdoor room, though we’ve never thought of it that way, didn’t buy anything where that phrase was mentioned, and we didn’t read any magazine articles on how to create such a place.
After we moved in, as soon as I could, I set up a table and chairs, and the garden kind of took place, always revolving around us, in it. So there I am one evening sitting with my two friends Cheryl and Nancy (shown above in a oldish, faded Polaroid, all I could find). We’re drinking wine and having some kind of snack, probably. I see something in a nearby bed (now the pond), something that should be deadheaded, or pulled out, or shifted in some way. I get up and head purposefully toward the plant in question and—I think—Nancy called out “GWI! GWI!”
That was some years before I started this blog and the phrase seemed like a natural title. Over the years, the garden has provided a wonderful setting for all kinds of socializing, for boys as well as girls—hubby (center) and friend Scott below:
I love the garden for its own sake, but if I couldn’t hang out in it with my friends, I’d be much less interested. I suppose, too, in the same sense that M.F.K. Fisher felt that food and drink and love were intertwined, I feel that the garden and its flowers have a lot to do with why I love my life and hence want to see my friends and loved ones in the garden.
Long answer to an easy question!