winter weeding in the virtual garden

While waiting for and after knee surgery I let things go. In my house, in my garden, in my gardening group. When you are managing pain essentially you are tired. Pain is debilitating and you conserve your energy.

Well over the past couple of days I have slowly started to take baby steps back to the land of the living because I’m finally starting to feel better after the surgery. As you know I treated myself to a very slow walk around my garden the other day, and I also had to tend to the virtual garden in my gardening group yesterday.

My gardening group has grown exponentially over the years and I’m not tooting my own horn by saying that as it is true. And actually most of the time it hasn’t been hard because gardening is such a pleasure. But it’s still social media, and occasionally it gets out of hand.

Social media pages and groups are a blessing and a curse. You have a chance to meet and interact with amazing people you wouldn’t ordinarily encounter, especially because some of them are from other areas even even other countries. But the whole being behind a keyboard thing can bring the worst out in people. Or be Supercalifragilistically annoying.

There are times when you feel like a virtual babysitter. You wonder if these people actually ever go out into their gardens. And the other day I finally had enough of someone who has been posting the same thing since they joined the page. They are a mom, they work full-time they don’t have time for their garden but they want to know how they can garden. And every time people give them the exact same suggestions. Sorry not sorry but I had enough. It’s that whole theory of you keep repeating the same question and getting the same response yet every time you ask the question it’s like you expect the response to be magically different.

So first I shut down the comments on the post. Then I did write a short post about how this was an actual gardening group, as in dig in the dirt, get dirty, try, have fun. And the point of the group was not to complain about everything but to try.

That did not sit well with the post writer of the post I had turned the comments off on. They left a rather nasty reply to me and told me how I was a horrible person and not supportive of other women and so on and so forth.

What does ANY of this have to do with gardening? Yes, I was wondering that myself. On one hand, part of me was sorry this woman was struggling, but on the other hand all she ever did in my opinion was complain. If you don’t like your garden (or your life) you have to take the steps to change it. As far as the garden aspect, you can either do it yourself, or interview and engage people professionally to do it for you and the other part of it I am not equipped to say how they fix their lives. That’s personal.

I removed the person from my group. I wrote a post about it. Because I want to deter the behavior. The problem is I have seen as the group gets larger, the people do require managing at times or it’s a free for all and goes off the rails off topic.

I try to pay it forward with this group and share my love of gardening. But the problem with social media groups is they tend to morph into other things at times. And yesterday was one of those days I thought I had to take the control back. I have a responsibility to a few thousand people. And I was getting complaints.

People also seem to forget that I don’t get paid for doing this. They seem to forget that I actually have a life off of a virtual gardening group page. And when I woke up this morning, I was kind of bummed I couldn’t go out to the garden and dig in the dirt because of the snow on the ground. Also because this morning was a day when I could’ve used the release.

Overnight dozens of people in this group decided I was the antichrist.

Wow post your opinion on your own page that you created with your own blood,sweat, and tears and it is absolutely STUNNING to wake up and read the responses.

From I am a bad person, to they will start their own gardening group.

Neat. Well I guess tearing me apart makes all of them better people than me or anyone else out there?

I have never ever pretended to be perfect but this is a virtual gardening group. I and my admins are NOT babysitters.

So I weeded the virtual garden this morning. It made me sad.

However, I will indeed remove negative energy wherever I find it. And I can be tough- I have always been honest about that.

I just had knee surgery. But other than that I am not “going through a hard time” , “have problems” etc. But many thanks to those good Christians who stayed up all night talking about me like I was losing my mind (or wouldn’t see their comments.)

I am truly disappointed by so many right now and I did not even know them. Total strangers and truly astounding in what they thought was acceptable behavior.

My gardening group is quite unique and will only benefit from it thinning out. So that’s a positive.

I am generous with my time to this group . I don’t get paid for doing it. And when people ask me questions I do research to find the answers if I don’t know the answer most of the time.

If people wish to go join other gardening pages and groups, that’s entirely up to them. I even belong to other gardening pages. It’s not a popularity contest, it’s learning about gardening.

But you aren’t going to learn if you don’t open your mind to the possibility and try.

I know gardening is hard work. I know because I’ve been working on my garden for years. But I love it and it brings me joy.

If gardening doesn’t bring you joy find something else that will, but please stop complaining about it.