Last year an unfortunate accident took place that I am sure many of you have experienced. I dropped my phone in water and had to have it replaced. Lost were many garden photos…563 to be exact. I replaced my phone the next day and left the old one sitting in rice. After a few days I put it in my desk drawer and forgot about it. Moving in the fall, the old phone stayed in a box until yesterday. I charged it and like magic it took the charge and I accessed all of the 563 pictures.
Each year I volunteer landscaping hours…sometimes I advertise free landscaping for seniors and other times the job just seems to appear. I believe it is important to give something back. In my lifetime so many many people have helped me on my journey; I certainly wouldn’t be the person I am today without all of those helping hands and hearts that have reached out to me. I believe one of the reasons we are on this earth is to help each other out along the way. The intrinsic rewards are priceless for me. For me no amount of money can replace the feeling of helping others.
A few years ago while gardening for one of my regular customers I was introduced to Les. He was a very kind man as is his wife Lorraine. He owned a small farm near Cedar BC where he grew garlic for the local health food store. He offered me some work, helping him with his garlic crop. Which I was happy to oblige, not only for the work, but the knowledge I would gain.
I was very blessed to meet him and his lovely wife Lorraine. Wonderful people…so caring and so down to earth. That first garden season after meeting them, they offered to let me grow a garden along side the garlic. It was a God send to me as I was living in a suite with no garden area. That season was so busy I had to rely on Les to let me know when my garden needed watering. We watered my garden and the garlic regularly. I grew many vegetables and herbs that year…eating and canning everything I could. There is such a sense of accomplishment that comes with eating an entire meal from your own garden, which I did enjoy many times that summer! Thank you Les & Lorraine 🙂
Tragedy struck 1 1/2 years ago when Les passed away from an unfortunate accident; leaving his wife and a daughter who was engaged to be married. The bride, Heather had her heart set on a country wedding.
So we set to work. The property is a beautiful farm over looking the Nanaimo River. It is a place where time seems to stand still. The farm is 10 acres, complete with a large home, detached garage, detached shop and a barn overlooking a meadow.
I was so busy last summer that I did not even get to the farm to work until 3 weeks before the wedding so it was a stretch…one that I was not sure I could fulfill. Lorraine had worked tirelessly year after year gardening and had beautiful gardens everywhere. There were beautiful rhododendron gardens surrounding the house where she had incorporated peach trees, raspberries and other edibles into the garden space. The gardens just needed some elbow grease to get things in order.
The driveway was a winding lane over a 1/4 mile long from the road to the house with fruit trees on one side and a fenced pasture lined with black berry brambles on the other. Years previous had seen the addition of a rock garden along the driveway closer to the house. It was beautiful but overgrown with weeds and grass.
The bride had her heart set on getting married on the lawn and then having her wedding photos taken near the barn and pasture. There was a considerable amount of work to be done. The area where the guests would park was overgrown with weeds and grass also. And work we did. There were dozens of volunteers that helped every step of the way. The landscaping was my expertise and thankfully I met the challenge and finished two days before the wedding.
Lorraine seeded the lawn area where Heather wanted the ceremony and watered daily for the lawn to thrive. I added my landscaping touches weeding and mulching everything in sight.
Even Sheeba, the family pet helped by chasing the rabbits away!
The pasture needed to be cut down around the barn and beyond for the wedding photos. I used a weed eater to get it down to about 8 inches…cleaned the area of all rocks, trees and branches, then I took the lawnmower to it twice…the last time two days before the wedding. I also trimmed and pruned all shrubs and trees giving each a hair cut to tidy things up.
The three weeks flew by…I cleared my calendar of other jobs to finish this one…at the exasperation of some of my customers…it wasn’t that their gardens weren’t important to me…it was that this was something I had to do…and the wedding turned out beautiful. A gorgeous summer day for a beautiful bride & groom! In total I put in 49.5 hours and am so very grateful that I could do something nice for this family!
Congratulations Heather & Ray! Have a wonderful life!