Leave a Garden – Poem

This is not my garden but the beautiful Glenveagh castle gardens in Donegal.

leave a garden when you go
the tiny plot of earth
barren slate
choked with weeds
strangled with stones
is all yours
as long as the rent’s on time

transform it into eden
lush and green
with your sweat and toil
new life unfolds and unfurls
shoots stretch towards the sky
it’s yours to dream about
as long as the rent’s on time

though you claim the tired soil
for a few fleeting seasons
it’s better to leave a garden
to wither, wilt, or grow wild
it’s better to leave
part of yourself in the dust
along with a few shrubs of thyme

all your work for nothing?
nothing is forever
but to leave a garden when you go
is an act truly sublime


I create a garden every time I move to a new rental house. It’s hard work and I seldom stay long enough to truly reap the rewards of my efforts. But planting and tending a new garden is a rewarding and special process in itself. Even though I know there’s a good chance the next renters will leave the garden to die or grow wild, I believe it’s better to leave a garden when you go.

For more gardening inspiration, have a look at When the Gardening-Bug Bites. Lefras has some great tips for beginnings, renters, and those gardening on a budget. 

You can read more poems here! Or follow me on Instagram for more books, plants, and stories.

Happy reading,


4 thoughts on “Leave a Garden – Poem

  1. I really enjoyed your poem and so fully agree with your view on leaving a garden. In South Africa we had a huge garden. Since I lived in the same house for 21 years I had loads of time and enjoyment in my garden. I enjoyed watching every seedling grow and the abundance of colour. I even found removing all the weeds very therapeutic. Over the years many family members, friends and gardeners left pieces of their hearts behind in my garden in the form of plant cuttings. When we moved out, I thought of our garden as a beautiful painting with contributions from many people who shared my love of gardening.


    • Thank you, Emsia! I think you leave quite a bit of yourself in a garden after 21 years. Like you, I find weeding and working in the garden therapeutic. I love the idea of a garden as a painting with many contributors, what a wonderful image. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Kudos on the poem and your choice to always create a garden where you live Chantelle. I have left a few gardens myself, including a house I sold 5 years ago where I had planted extensively and transformed the yard. Sadly, when I sold, it was just starting to fill and thrive.


  3. Pingback: Wildflowers in June and July – The Garden as Teacher | Wild Library

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