Monday, July 14, 2008


Since this is partly a blog about gardening in Seattle I feel the need to make note of a very sad gardening story in the news here this week.

On Wednesday 60 year old James Paroline was watering his garden in the middle of a traffic circle on his street when he was assaulted and later died of a head injury. He had blocked traffic with orange cones to protect his garden hose and was verbally hassled by some young women. When he responded by yelling back and spraying them with water they called a male friend who arrived and punched James to the ground where he hit his head.

As I watered my plants this morning in the luxury of my secure and peaceful private garden I kept thinking of James. I feel so sad and sorry for what happened. I also feel sad for the women involved whose young lives have probably been so full of hatred that all they know is to pass it along. I feel sad for the man who did the punching who must have learned first hand about violence through his own young life.

I feel bewildered and out of touch with humanity, as I always do when faced with people whose life experience leads them to such rage.

It has been a very sad week. I hope that someone continues to water James' garden. I have a feeling that someone will.


  1. This is indeed a sad story--for all concerned. I am always amazed at the traffic circle gardens here. And rarely do I see anyone tending them. I've concluded they're tended by elves.

  2. Yes the traffic circles are mysterious and wonderful. Maybe someone should do a blog post on them. hmmm.