The weather has been too cold for camping out so we've kept our excursions close to home. Sam has proven to be good company on our explorations. He remembers to bring pipe and leaf, and he doesn't talk a stream. I find I've time to think and consider, and his company is pleasant companionship. We walk for miles without saying a word and yet it's not uncomfortable. I worried a little at first. I remembered his visits to Bag End to hear Uncle Bilbo's stories; he was always asking questions. I worried a bit he might ask me endless questions, but blessedly, he has not. He answers whatever I ask and we fall into pleasant conversation quite often, but he is also content with silence between us without feeling awkward with it.
Explored some other regions of the Shire today and found a few sprigs to add to the garden at Bag End. Discovered that there was more than bread and cheese in that satchel Sam's always bringing. He brought out a cutting shear wrapped in several pieces of cloth. He'd pour a bit of our water on one of the pieces of cloth, carefully cut a bit of the original shrub and then wrap it in the dampened cloth. As soon as we returned, Sam popped the little cuttings into carefully prepared pots.
It has pleased Sam enormously, which truthfully pleases me. I find his enthusiasm contagious. I am also learning more of plants and gardening than I ever intended when I started this, but I'm finding myself rather enjoying it. He's quite proud of the gardens at Bag End. And well he should be, he keeps them well tended if I may say so. With all I've seen, they really are the best kept gardens in all of the Shire.