Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The master gardener NOT

I want to honor Roberta Reba, a kidney transplant recipient, who was a customer and a friend and died yesterday at the young age of 61.  She fought the good fight and was a friend in need and it distresses me that she won't have a public memorial to honor what she has given to her communities and friends.   She first came to Needle Nicely in a taxi-cab (in Vero Beach at that time a real rarity).  That day happened to coincide with our spectacular sale where we started at 7 am for 40% off and added 10% off for each hour ending at 10am with 10% off each day. That was after her kidney transplant and she wasn't allowed to drive.  Hence the cab which sat out front for two hours while she shopped--I don't even think it had a meter!  After Hurricane Wilma, Roberta was one of the first to appear to help us get Needle Nicely organized for opening.  She was so giving and accepting.  Thank you, Roberta, for being such a friend.  All of us will miss you.

I live in a wonderful little community in Vero Beach that has an HMO that takes care of almost everything for us for a truly small fee each quarter.  My husband and I are amazed that they haven't raised the maintenance in years and still services are being maintained at a high level.  We are only responsible for our individual plantings like shrubs and plant beds.  We are not responsible for irrigation, mowing, and general maintenance.  One of the benefits of that is that all mowing is done one day a week, not any old day as it was in our previous neighborhood where everyone was responsible for their own grass.  And, yes, one guy always mowed at 8am Sunday morning--across the street.  Here it's Wednesday about 9 or 10.  Thank you.  

My husband and I have a wonderful woman who trims our shrubs and weeds and puts out mulch, etc., etc.
I'm at work when she comes so my husband (that infamous New Yorker) has to convey my wishes.   He is clueless about plants, mulch, whatever.  I grew up on a farm and love to putch around with plants, but let's face it, I usually work 6 days a week at the shop (now 5, thank you Jesus) and spend another day doing book work, so my energy level is low when I think about getting on my knees to weed.  

However, a dear friend of ours who helped us install fans, verticals, etc., etc., before we moved in to our new house 10 1/2 years ago gave us a plant as a house-warming gift.  He planted it immediately outside the front door in the bed against the house.  It resembles lariope, but is darker (and more sinister). I don't know its name.   Lariope is a marvelous decorative plant that grows larger, but is not invasive.  This plant sends out suckers and takes over the world. 

After asking my husband to have our personal "gardener" get rid of this plant for at least 5 months, I realized that the problem was with him, not her.  He thought it was pretty and green and what was my problem?  

So, I took my trowel out last week and attacked the front flower beds.  Oy!  Definitely not a big enough weapon.  So I asked Marcia if I could borrow a shovel (Marcia is a big-time gardener and has all the tools).
She brought in a short version and last Saturday I began my assault.  First I dug up the existing lariope and separated the segments and replanted them, spreading the wealth.  Giddy with my success, I approached the interloper.  Dug the shovel in.  Moved it around to the other side and dug it in again.  And again.  And again.
It only took about 1 1/2 hours to enable me to remove about 2 areas totaling 8 square feet (and 2 black trash bags).  Whew!  I dragged the trash bags to the curb for pick-up.  When I got the 2nd one there, my toe hit the first bag and I did a slo-mo forward roll so that I wound up with my forehead touching the turf and my knees on the trash bags.  While I was rolling forward, I  had time to think about how hurt my body was going to be when I finally stopped moving forward.  And would I break my glasses?  My center of gravity was way forward when I stopped moving--now, how do I get up?  I rolled to one side like Arte Johnson on his tricycle on Laugh In and managed to get up that way.  Whew!  I don't think I'll be gardening again anytime soon.  Of course, my husband was clueless to my plight--he was inside watching European golf.


  1. I'm sorry for the loss of a friend, Mary Agnes.

  2. I don't know how you can write a post that has me composing a sympathy note in my head at the beginning and has me laughing by the end. Good job.

    I hope you don't have too much pain.