It was late afternoon when he invited her into his garden.
“Oh wow,” she said, “It’s beautiful!”
“Thanks, I work hard at it. I’ve actually been away for a couple of weeks; looks like there’s weeding to do.” He started absently pulling up small and large shoots and collecting them in one hand. “Want some raspberries? Or a tomato? Food tastes best fresh off the vine.”
“Some raspberries would be lovely.”
He knelt down, picked some with his free hand and passed them up to her. As she ate, he continued weeding.
“Mmm… these are – whoa, what are you doing? You just killed that flower!”
“What, this?” He was holding a pink tulip, that he had pulled out, root and all. “It’s just a weed.”
“It’s a beautiful flower!” she said, aghast, and took it from him.
“It does look nice, but it doesn’t do anything useful.”
“It’s not enough for it to look nice?”
“Not really. The garden is already colourful, isn’t it?”
“Yes, but –”
“Raspberries, squash, tomatoes, pears, apples, yellow zucchini, cauliflower. They look nice and taste good. See those little tufts? Those are carrots, and those behind you with the white flowers are potatoes. And next to the house are the herbs: rosemary, chives, mint, basil, and so on.”
He tossed all the weeds on the compost heap. “Everything in this garden is a food. I like tulips, but I don’t want them in my garden. I’ll pot it and you can take it to plant at your house.”
“I’ll do just that,” she said. “That’s actually impressive that this garden is all food. Those raspberries were delicious; you must eat well.”
“You’re right, they’re delicious and chemical-free. If you stay for dinner you’ll see just how good it can be.”
She grinned. “Thanks, maybe I will.” Then her smile faded. “But I don’t think you can call a tulip a weed.”
“Sure. A weed just means an unwanted plant. And tulips don’t any more belong in a patch of raspberries than dandelions do. A potato plant in a flower garden might be called a weed.”
“All right, you’re off the hook.” She kissed him on the cheek. “Now, about that dinner…”