Sunday, March 27, 2011

Gardening and Dinner Party

There used to be a sign on Gary's property that said "Gary and Kerri's Place".  The story goes that not long after Kerri left, the sign fell down of its own accord, witnessed by the neighbor, Kelly.  Left were two weather treated posts set in concrete, and some deteriorating plywood.  A bit of an eyesore.  Then Gary took a chainsaw to a shrub behind the sign, and the hacked up shrub made it look even worse.  I communicated that impression of mine to Gary.  I was taking a nap, and by the time I woke up he and his friend Dennis had pulled the whole business out of the ground and covered over the holes left.  Yay!

There is a lot of work that needs to be done on this landscaped property.  I said that I would take responsibility for weeding and maintenance of the large bed that you see as you're driving up, and also seen from the front porch.  It is huge, and includes many trees and shrubs.  Also, a rock structure and small pond with lilly pads.  It is obvious that it was beautifully done, by Kerri, but has suffered from lack of attention. 

My first project was to put something where the sign and shrub used to be.  I decided I wanted to get some "yard art", and I had an idea that a Chinese pagoda would look nice there, surrounded by some flowering plants.  Gary took me shopping to Garland's Nursery for my birthday, and I found just the pagoda.  I also collected a few plants.  Here is what it looks like so far:

 Next I started weeding on the section where there are rosebushes on either side of a trellis, which leads into the big bed.  I was squatting down, pulling one weed at a time, and Gary came up and said "That is just silly".  He really said that, "just silly".  He thought it would be better to use Round Up, then rake the dead plants off.  I did NOT like that idea, did NOT want to use chemicals in a flower bed where I want to place other plants.  So I just kept weeding my own way.  It looks nice, but I have a lot more to do.

Next part of my story - which connects with gardening - the dinner party.  We invited Gary's old friends Julius and Sue.  Here is Gary with Julius.

And also my "band mom" friend Linda, and the man in her life, Tim.  We had a good dinner of grilled cod, squash from Gary's garden, and spinach salad.  Plum cobbler for dessert - the plums from Gary's tree which he had frozen.  Gary made rice but we forgot to serve it - I so often forget to serve one dish from a meal I've cooked.  Here is the dinner table with Linda, Tim and Sue.

Back to gardening, Linda works for the extension service, advising people on gardening issues.  Perfect.  She volunteered that the weeds she was seeing are Round Up resistent.  She said pulling them up is the only way to get rid of them.  I was so glad that she was behind me on this.  Here is Linda:

She also gave us a lot of helpful tips in just the short tour around the property - plants to encourage, plants to get rid of.  She saw 3 shrubs too close together and advised moving one.  Julius and Sue said they'd love to take one home, so here Julius is digging it up with Tim's help:

And here are Linda and Sue, watching:

I had a lot of fun talking with my old friend Linda, and new friends Julius, Sue and Tim. Linda, Sue and I hope to have a happy hour together soon.  Linda said she'll think about my landscaping and come up with ideas for me. I'm excited about that.  And excited about the friendships.

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