by Julie Carpenter
Friday Garden Post: Hats off to Tom!
(Is this Friday? No it is not. Pity poor Jarad trying to establish a publishing schedule with me in tow. Anyhoo...here is the post that was perfectly ready yesterday but just didn't get put up.)
Tom is the gardener who lived in my new place before me. He was an elderly man who apparently died of dementia. I never met him, but the neighbors have some lovely stories about how helpful he was, finding treasures for the kids and helping them with their gardens. But even though we were never introduced, Tom gave me some gifts as well. He planted my garden full of perennials, shrubs, and small trees, and now I don’t have to start from scratch.
I have clematis, a nearly ten-foot tall red camellia, gorgeous azaleas, daffodils, hostas, some blueberries that are located conveniently next to the kitchen door, there are a number of hydrangeas, including an oak leaf by the dining room window and some very interesting leather leaf mahonias. There’s a huge red carefree wonder rose by the mailbox, some abelia under the gum tree, and a giant lady banks that crawled up and overcame a basketball goal.
Of course, there are things I wouldn’t have done. The gum tree? Maybe not, with its twisted, bumpy roots knocking the lawn mower around and dropping little gum balls for me to slide on. The holy basil is a garden bully and a half. Although a purple lawn is kind of interesting, the crazy stuff takes over flower beds and grows in the oddest places. And then there are the patio peaches. They were allowed to take root in awkward places as well. I find myself pulling them up from between the knobby roots of gum trees, from the yard, from the base of the lady banks rose, and the crepe myrtle. The hollies are far too wide for the sidewalk in front; they scoot guests into the yard with their pointy fingers and stick up stray branches like errant nose hairs, seemingly overnight.
Still, I just went out and cut some hydrangeas and a pink rose for the kitchen, and I’ve already used some of the basil. So, hats off to Tom! I hope to meet him someday in that great garden in the sky. Hopefully, I’ll look down and see someone admiring the apricot drift roses and strawberries I planted against the brick wall by the patio.