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Thread: Ding Dong the Wicked Garden Diva not quite dead here

  1. #1
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Ding Dong the Wicked Garden Diva not quite dead here

    Not dead yet, but she is severely hobbled.

    Brief background: Our community garden was spearheaded 19 years ago by a small group of people, including DH. The ongoing self appointed leader, Garden Diva, ran the place like her own personal landscaped paradise. She would disagree with my assessment, of course. She spent thousands and thousands, really big time money, to paint a mural, build a pergola, etc. The vegetable beds were of secondary important to her. Our community garden has only 40 beds and there is lots of interest in it, a bed in the Community garden is an important resource. Over the years she flagrantly gave beds to her friends skipping over those on the waiting list, ignored requests for beds, conveniently "lost" and mishandled records and contact info so that she could give two beds to her friends and keep the group of gardeners small. She didn't want a community garden with vegetable beds, she wanted a landscaped place of beauty and she fought often and loudly to retain all of the bluegrass. Idiotic since we have a 35 acres park two blocks away.

    Over and over I offered to keep records, asked to have Wait list shared, etc.But no, she would not do that.

    Because we were retired, we decided to take on the Community Garden and we kept putting pressure on her to perform. She got mad and resigned. We have been dealing for the past two weeks with her chaotic records (who is in bed #9? John or Cathy? Or Justin? ) her multiple bad email addresses of contact gardeners (A Hollywood actress* has been receiving Garden Diva's messages about our little community garden, very funny!) her inability to pass on necessary procedures (oh, the hydrant keys must be returned to the city each year? and the insurance bill comes when, and to whom?) Fortunately, our Community Garden is now under the management of our neighborhood association, so Garden Diva was pressured by them as well to resign. Unfortunately our Neighborhood President does not set boundaries with her, he is a weenie. But the previous President set firm boundaries.

    But now she is in charge of less. She still has $8,000 to spend as neighborhood Beautification Diva and that will keep her busy. I won't even go into the shady monetary practices that we know she takes part in. Shady, and also others that are completely unnecessary. For instance last year, when she and DH were still on speaking terms, she sent him a big commercial bouquet of flowers for a Christmas "thank you." Hell, we don't want to see neighborhood money spent that way. That is one tiny misuse of funds. We have already let it be known that as we complete our will, the neighborhood will not be included in it while Beautification Diva is handed thousands of dollars to throw at stupid things.

    We have a whole lot more work now to turn the Community Garden into a true community asset and to serve as many residents as possible, but I firmly believe that in the big picture the neighborhood is better off for having her gone.

    We drafted a new set of Garden rules that states a garden leader's term may not last longer than 3 years. There will be no more 19 year reigns.

    * Nikki Tomlinson, who is starring in a new TV show that premiers next week called Game of Silence. She is now an honorary member of our COmmunity Garden! haha.

  2. #2
    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
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    Excellent--obviously, your retirement is being well spent!

  3. #3
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    Don't you just love these organizations that become kingdoms! Good for you. Truly I know how hard it is to dislodge self-appointed royals.

  4. #4
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by razz View Post
    Don't you just love these organizations that become kingdoms! Good for you. Truly I know how hard it is to dislodge self-appointed royals.
    Yeah, it took concentrated effort and laser focus over 12 months to shove her out. She didn't think we would stay on her tail, but we did. No one but us would have had the tenacity, and no one but us understands the depth of her disregard for those who wanted to participate in the Community Garden. Others simplyndid not matter to her, her friends who petted and praised her mattered.

    Several of us have been mulling over in recent years the question of her essential problem. Is it carelessness or character? I have decided that she is preternaturally unable to perform simple clerical actions such as maintaining an email list, or keeping people's names in date order on a list. But, it is a matter of poor character that she doesn't seek help, doesnt accept the help that is offered, or does not attempt to monitor and correct her own errors.

  5. #5
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Wow, what a wonderful enterprise, and I'm so happy to see it's falling into the right hands! Sounds like have assessed her problems accurately--nothing worse than the arrogance of believing you don't need help or advice.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
    www.silententry.wordpress.com

  6. #6
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    Well done, iris lilies! Community gardens are such a wonderful thing, and in our area are much, much more popular than they were even a few years ago.

    Personally I'd still want the title though. But for your dh... hmmm... could it be Garden Diva and Garden Divo?

  7. #7
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    That kind of crap is what turns people off from volunteering. Glad that you were able to straighten it out.

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