Originally Posted by Claire
I have to laugh, expat, because many friends who have lived around the world call it "stealing the rice bowl" if you try to garden or clean by youself. He probably WAS sabotaging your attempts, afraid he would lose his job (i.e., you're stealing his rice bowl). Simply let the gardener know that you want that plant, and let him take part in caring for it.
Oh, believe me, I tried but finally gave up........he was paid well as he had other workers dependent upon him for their wages ( workers dressed practically in rags I might add) and when the former owner returned home she really cut his wages......made me mad as the cost of living had really gone up since she had left 5 years before...she truly expected them to go back to the same salary that she had paid them...she came back to a beautiful lush garden and fully expected him to do the same for her for at a lot less......I really worked with him to develop that garden and she just didn't want to pay him to continue but expected the same lush garden.......oh, well, it's sad .......luckily I saw one of the workers at the school gardens and talked with him and he was quite content........but no, you're right, the rice bowl did not include lemongrass :) in Houston, bring your machete!