I used to live in a small town that had the most lovely garden. It was right in the center of town, and everyone was free to plant whatever they wished. Some people planted big plants, some planted small plants. Some people bought their own seeds, and carefully nutured their plants, while a few others simply stole their plants from someone else's garden. Other people planted beautiful flowers, while still some others planted what could only be classified as weeds.

Everybody loved the garden, and something was always in bloom. People were always coming and going, and planting this and that. It was always the busiest place in town. No one ever thought to call someone else's plants inferior, and indeed, most were too polite to even mention if they noticed a plant had been nicked from down at the local nursery (especially since the head gardeners were as guilty of this as everyone else). Everybody just enjoyed caring for their own plants, and even the "weeds" of others were interesting to look at.

As time went on some of the better gardeners decided that they only wanted the best plants in the garden. The better gardeners began to push out many of the plants that were not as large, or as pretty as theirs were. This didn't happen all at once, but slowly, over a long period of time. Many of the amateur gardeners eventually quit coming altogether. They loved the garden, but they didn't feel at home in it anymore.

The better gardeners soon enacted more and more rules as to what kind of plants were allowed in the garden. They continued to get new plants, and they were lovely, but a half of a dozen old plants died for every lovely new plant.

Some people stuck it out and continued to visit the garden. There were never as many people around as there used to be. Most of these people fondly remember a time when the garden had hundreds of new plants every day. Sometimes you would see them crying when they realized that the garden now only got a few dozen new plants each day, and usually cut down several hundred older ones to make room for them.

The last part is a bit hard to explain, but eventually the garden itself just slowed down. It took longer and longer to simply look at a plant, or to chat with one of the gardeners. Many more people got frustrated, and stopped visiting the garden, or at least cut down on their visits.

The head gardeners seemed oblivious to all of this. They saw how lovely their garden was, and didn't really care that no one was really enjoying it anymore. They continued to make more rules and regulations about gardening and plants, and even decided to chop down all the plants that people had stolen from the nursery down the street.

It has always been a very lovely garden, but I just don't think I enjoy visiting it the way I used to.