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At a loss and very depressed.

 
gardener
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Location: Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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hau Lori, I have to give  you kudos for sticking it out for so long.

Bonsai; do you have a proper Bonsai container for this tree? If you do, do you have some spot where you live that will work for moving it home with you?
You can lift a bonsai at just about any time of year as long as you have the container of proper size, fresh soil and moss and a place outdoors for a home. (your tree sounds marvelous)
I have grown Bonsai since 1970, It is really best to have them close so you can take good care of them and make sure they have enough water.
At one point I had 35 trees, it was almost work to keep up with their watering (morning and evening). If you have any questions, toss them at me.

Redhawk
 
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Location: Northern California Mediterranean climate zone 10b
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Bryant RedHawk wrote:hau Lori, I have to give  you kudos for sticking it out for so long.

Bonsai; do you have a proper Bonsai container for this tree? If you do, do you have some spot where you live that will work for moving it home with you?
You can lift a bonsai at just about any time of year as long as you have the container of proper size, fresh soil and moss and a place outdoors for a home. (your tree sounds marvelous)
I have grown Bonsai since 1970, It is really best to have them close so you can take good care of them and make sure they have enough water.
At one point I had 35 trees, it was almost work to keep up with their watering (morning and evening). If you have any questions, toss them at me.

Redhawk



I do have a gorgeous pot for Gary the beech tree, but he isn't in it.  I used to keep him on the back porch, where I could water him every day.  But then my b!+(# of a landlady decided that I could no longer keep any plants out there.  So, I took him out of the pot and put him into the ground in my plot, where he's been for at least 5 years.  So that's why I can't dig him up until he's dormant.  I'll probably have to put him in quite a big pot when I do dig him up.  I live in a tiny apartment with no access to the outdoors at all.  Which is why I've been so freaked out over this whole community garden fiasco.  Gary & I have no where else to go.  The other garden I looked at was awful.  Huge hole in the fence, signs up all over saying please don't steal, and the plots were 4' x'4' for $50/year!  

This Gary last spring:
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Gary
 
Bryant RedHawk
gardener
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Location: Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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I must say, Gary is looking very good. I am so sorry that you are in such a situation.

Redhawk
 
Lori Ziemba
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Bryant RedHawk wrote:I must say, Gary is looking very good. I am so sorry that you are in such a situation.

Redhawk



Thanks.  I just found out the people upstairs are moving to the country, a house with 2 acres.  Neither of them knows how to garden...sigh.  Who says the gods have no sense of humor?

This is Gary last time he was in his pot.  I was shocked to see this picture was taken 11 years ago!
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Location: South of Capricorn
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Lori Ziemba wrote:I just found out the people upstairs are moving to the country, a house with 2 acres.  Neither of them knows how to garden...


Would they perchance be going not so far and needing a mentor to get them gardening? This could be a golden opportunity!!
 
Lori Ziemba
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Tereza Okava wrote:
Would they perchance be going not so far and needing a mentor to get them gardening? This could be a golden opportunity!!



Far enough that I can't get there with my 48 y/o car.  
 
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Location: Near Libby, MT
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F Agricola wrote:Seems like many of the current members are not very nice people, and a few are bullies. So, perhaps you need to decide whether it’s worth the anguish to continue with them, but, there are alternatives:

1. Easier said than done, but simply ignore them – turn around and walk away shuts them down.
2. When they approach you in the garden, simply put the hose on them – they will certainly keep a distance from then on. (Positive/negative reinforcement like training a pet)
3. Let your garden plots turn to self-seeding ‘weeds’ so they infest others gardens – if questioned, you’re legitimately growing dandelions, etc
4. Use the ‘Rules’ against them, and keep pushing for the ‘Rules’ to be enforced. I bet if you w noere to threaten Lawyer action, they would back off. (If you have a friend who is legal-savvy, take them to the meeting, sit back and enjoy).
5. If they ‘steal’ your crops, then ‘borrow’ some of theirs too. The ‘tit-for-tat’ is childish, but can be very enjoyable to watch as they implode from exasperation.
6. Extreme: do a Roman Army on their arses – pull out all your plants, spread a lot of salt on the soil and water it in, then resign membership – they will think they won and now have your garden plots, but nothing will grow.

I've been through similar experiences in Clubs. I found it good practice to remove emotion from the equation and think through the process logically - it's not a matter of life & death, it's just personal attachment to a 'thing'. Eliminating the emotional aspects certainly allowed me to think clearly and strategise ways forward that suited my needs and wants.


What REALLY makes me sad is the obnoxious couple travels HERE in your winter. PLEASE, we have enough of our own dicks to deal with, don’t need to import them too!



I like all of these options. Passive agression sort of feels good. I would add that agreeing with someone like these self important jerks, and then doing what I please, usually shuts people up for a while. Example: "Your dog isn't allowed in the park.' My answer is, "Yes. I'm sure you're right. Have a nice day." and I walk on.

I used to tell my nursing students, "When you see anger, look for fear." (Lots of anger gets directed at nurses.) Try asking what they are afraid of.

And they remind me of the clerk at the Department of Motor Vehicles who makes your life as difficult as she can because she has no power over anything else in her life. Tell them that you are sorry that they have such sad little lives. And then go steal their vegetables.
 
Lori Ziemba
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[quote=roberta mccanse
Tell them that you are sorry that they have such sad little lives. And then go steal their vegetables.

Ha ha ha ha ha ha!  Thanks for the laugh; I needed it!

The sad truth is, they don't even grow any.  Their plot (the biggest one in the garden, BTW) is a mess.  They have this weird structure in the middle with a chayote growing on it.  Chayote grows well here, but it doesn't fruit.  At least, I've never seen it do so.  Then there's a few flowers around the edge.  And a lot of weeds.  That's it.

I went over there yesterday, and they were there, so I came home.  Their plot is right near the front gate.  I saw him walking all around the garden, inspecting everyone's plots.  This is a man who dumps out the bird bath because he says it attracts rats.  Meanwhile, his plot is a mess, and he says nothing about certain other plots that literally have rats crawling in and out---I've seen them.  

I so wish we had an allotment system here like they do in England, where you get a decent amount of land, enough to even have chickens.  Can you believe all this fuss is over 50 square feet of sand?

This is their plot:
20190805_141114.jpg
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There is only one thing to do with these kinds of people and that is to somehow help them to see what they are doing. Most people feel justified in their actions even bad actions because they have good intentions in their minds. In order for you and them to become better people and gardeners for your community you must figure out how to:

21 If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink:

22 For thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head, and the Lord shall reward thee. Proverbs 25

there are always ways to change a situation, it is just a matter of finding what hits the soft spot, be kind and go above and beyond and find out what it is, everyone in that garden will be happier for your work and effort.
 
Posts: 87
Location: Hot, humid, sometimes hurricane drenched west central Florida
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Lori, before great things can enter your life the old stuff has to go in order to make room. There's only so much life-space. I've learned a lot in my life about change. I've been dragged kicking and screaming and I've gone willingly. Trust me, going willingly was a lot easier. When things are about to change it usually doesn't sneak up on us all of a sudden and out of the blue, it's been brewing for a long time, like your situation. Honestly, Lori, no one should be in what I will call a painful situation for as long as you have been. I hate to be the kick in the pants, but it's time for something new. The biggest lesson I have learned about change is that the next unknown thing will be more magnificent than the last.
 
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Unfortunately, you are in a group that is highly dysfunctional. In most cases it is easier to let things go and walk away than to try to fight it out. However, if you do leave, it can be helpful to take some time preparing, like waiting for your tree to go dormant.

There are a series of books on the Art of Verbal Self Defense. They have been around for years and they do a great job of teaching methods to deal with toxic personalities. This might be helpful.

I suspect your group has other members who are also assaulted verbally by these hostile members. It might help to figure out an alliance with them.

It might help to figure out exactly what you want from the people who are attacking you. Do you want them to just shut up? There are techniques that can help accomplish that but it depends on the circumstances.

Do the organizational rules have any rules that deal with this type of situation? That could be another method of dealing with with things.

The most important thing is to stay calm. I have found that the most aggressive person cannot deal with someone facing them with confidence, calmness and kindness. They expect either complete obedience to their demands or aggressiveness in return. They are prepared to cope with both of those but not a calm strong stance.

I also wonder if the members that have been there a long time might have early dementia. I have seen a number of cases where people with dementia become verbally aggressive and even combative years before they show obvious dementia. If this is the case, there might not be much you can do. It is just something to keep in mind. Even if they don't have dementia, imagining that they do might help you cope with them.

I hope you can get through this without too much emotional trauma. Good luck!
 
Lori Ziemba
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Jack Hall wrote:There is only one thing to do with these kinds of people and that is to somehow help them to see what they are doing. Most people feel justified in their actions even bad actions because they have good intentions in their minds. In order for you and them to become better people and gardeners for your community you must figure out how to:

21 If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink:

22 For thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head, and the Lord shall reward thee. Proverbs 25

there are always ways to change a situation, it is just a matter of finding what hits the soft spot, be kind and go above and beyond and find out what it is, everyone in that garden will be happier for your work and effort.



Genesis 12:3
I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

 
Lori Ziemba
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Leslie Russell wrote: I hate to be the kick in the pants, but it's time for something new. The biggest lesson I have learned about change is that the next unknown thing will be more magnificent than the last.



I dunno about that.  My experience is things get taken away, bit by bit, and they don't get replaced by anything.  Or they get taken away all at once, and still, nothing replaces them.  I used to have a nice spot on the back porch filled with flowers, and the landlady took it away.  I had a gorgeous pine tree that I raised from a seedling, 10 feet tall, in a pot, and she killed it.  

To have nowhere to have a spot of my own to grow things would be unbearable.  And I don't want to be at someone's mercy, where I get something started, and then it gets...taken away.  
 
Lori Ziemba
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Ann Soco wrote:

There are a series of books on the Art of Verbal Self Defense. They have been around for years and they do a great job of teaching methods to deal with toxic personalities. This might be helpful.



Yes, that would be helpful!  I am not good at it.  I tend to go mute when attacked.

It might help to figure out exactly what you want from the people who are attacking you. Do you want them to just shut up? There are techniques that can help accomplish that but it depends on the circumstances.



Yes, I just want to be left in peace to grow things.



Do the organizational rules have any rules that deal with this type of situation? That could be another method of dealing with with things.



Not that I could see.  It's not very well run.


The most important thing is to stay calm. I have found that the most aggressive person cannot deal with someone facing them with confidence, calmness and kindness. They expect either complete obedience to their demands or aggressiveness in return. They are prepared to cope with both of those but not a calm strong stance.



I have been doing that with "M" since she started in on me, explaining to her, telling her it was within the rules, trying to be reassuring.  Didn't work.  I've tried (in the past) to be nice to the couple.  It seems that after 23 years have passed, they still don't know who I am.  I don't think he believed me when I said I have been there that long.  I look a lot younger than I am.

I also wonder if the members that have been there a long time might have early dementia.



I have thought exactly the same thing, because the husband never joined in or backed up the wife before.  He was always quiet.  It's only recently that he's been like this, just this year. She, OTOH, has always been a b!+(#.
 
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I'm chiming in late, but I wonder if you could find someone's home who would be happy to have you garden on their land. I'm thinking you make a flier that tells about yourself and your decades of gardening experience wherein you propose a deal: you convert a family's lawn into a luxuriant garden, and in exchange they enjoy some of the fruits of your labor (you can list other benefits as well). They provide the land and water, and you provide the rest. Add some contact info if they are interested. You drop off the flier to a bunch of houses in a neighborhood that is convenient for you, and see what happens. Personally if I were a busy homeowner and someone offered me something like this, I would jump on it. If anyone expresses interest, you sit down with them and explain your vision and see if it is compatible with theirs. You agree on some simple principles (not rules), and you now get full freedom to express beauty and partner with life
 
Lori Ziemba
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UPDATE

My boyfriend went to the garden meeting yesterday, and he said everyone came over (except M. and the Couple from Hell, of course) and shook his hand and asked about me.  He said they all seemed very contrite, and that the president wanted to talk to me.  So I went in and kissed and made up with him, but I let him know that I was very hurt that he didn't back me up like he said he would.  He tried to slime and squirm out of it, saying he didn't get a chance to because I left, but I told him that was BS and he knew it.  I told him I wasn't mad about not being able to do my idea, but I was mad because I was ganged up on, and not allowed to speak, and that he didn't stop it.  I think he understood, but who knows.  Anyway, I told him I wasn't mad at him anymore.  He said I was his favorite person in the garden.  I withdrew my request for widening the corn plot.  I don't want to do it anymore; don't want to put in the effort and expense at that place.  I'm only doing the minimum from now on.  I said I'd take over the corn plot when I can move my tree, and give up my old plot, unless something bigger comes available.  He said that was OK.  So, we have a sort of a truce.  Not great, but what can I do?  I felt OK last time I went, but not truly happy like I used to.  But at least I have a place to keep my tree.  Soon, the CfH will be going off to Australia, so that will help if I don't have to see their sour, shriveled old rat-faces.

Thank you, everyone, for all your kind words and advice.  It really helped, and it meant a lot to me.  You guys are the best.  I will post pix of the corn when it's ripe.  I gave in to temptation, and peeled back some husk on one ear, and it looks great!

Here's a pic of 2 of my Cinderella pumpkins:
20190904_195525.jpg
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The bigger one weighs around 15-20#.
 
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