In many ways, the garden becomes a symbol for the growth and understanding of the people who plant in it. Each person approaches the garden with some type of need in their life. For example, Sam's need is to "mend the tears in the social fabric" that exist in his world. Uncle John's need is to reclaim some part of his identity that his move to America has taken from him. Kim seeks to establish a connection and a sense of being with something that time has taken from her. Each of them need their own nurturing or "watering," a type of external gardener to mend their broken condition and allow them the chance to grow in a world where growth is challenged, hampered, and sometimes fully denied. As they each tend to the garden, something in them is tended as well. The garden becomes the external manifestation of their own internal hopes, dreams, and state of being. In the most painful of senses, if it dies, a part of them- the hopeful part- does, as well.
i think one metaphor was paradise (a three walled park)