Good or Bad: An Oil Discovery in Your Backyard?

Here’s a hypothetical scenario for you to ponder: Imagine that while digging in your backyard you discover an oil reservoir with enough pressure to possibly drill. Do you (a) bottle it up and not let anyone know about it, (b) file for a drilling licence, or (c) sell your home to a large oil company and retire to garden elsewhere for the rest of your life?

I guess the question really becomes, How attached to your garden are you? If in the case of the oil discovery would you be willing to keep it hush-hush so that you could continue growing your garden instead of taking the money? Or, would the money give you a few more options?

If you distilled it right down to the core, is it the GARDEN or the GARDENING?

In my case it’s certainly the GARDENING. While I love my garden and have enjoyed creating it from scratch it’s still a postage stamp compared to the dreams I have. A couple million dollars could definitely keep me entertained on a larger block with better views and no set budget for plant and landscaping purposes. I might even be able to employ a few gardeners to work alongside me, wouldn’t that be neat?

But, I’m still fairly young (just turned 21 *ahem* last week – you can ask my 4 kids) and I’ve had this garden for less than 5 years. What about those who have gardened in the same spot all their lives? You would assume that their gardens are quite possibly a large part of who they are, almost another appendage perhaps. Would these gardeners be willing to sell out?

Perhaps another way to look at the hypothetical scenario is to consider whether your garden has a price tag. Let’s ignore the messy oil discovery for a moment and concentrate purely on the dollars and cents issue. Could you walk away from your garden tomorrow for money and how much would it take?

It’s an interesting dilemma, isn’t it! If you consider the amount of back-breaking pain, blood, sweat and tears that you’ve poured into your flourishing habitat could there be a price-tag that matched all that effort? And, can dollars provide enough comfort for the memories you may be selling off? is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Additionally, we participates in various other affiliate programs, and we sometimes get a commission through purchases made through our links.