Admittedly, I took a little artistic license when I created the title for this blog. Read on to find out more......
Truthfully, I am the (primary) resident gardener at our home, on Lewis and Clark Road. I say this with great pride (and a good deal of exhaustion) because in a year's time, I went from barely being able to differentiate between a weed and a plant (in my defense, in certain areas of my yard, the two are difficult to distinguish) to gardening an acre and a quarter of land, myself.
A few disclaimers before I move on. The first is that I only maintain half of my property on a full-time basis, except for some special projects that arise a few times a year on the other half. Hence the recent visit by the herd of 100 goats to help me clean up the other half I don't/can't maintain, due to the drought. If you missed that post, here is the link:
https://www.spreadsheetmom.com/post/the-goat-have-come-and-gone-but-we-are-forever-changed-for-having-met-them The second disclaimer is that I don't really do it all alone. I have a helper and he drives a Porsche! Not exactly the car of choice for most landscapers.
We will call my helper "R," for the purposes of this blog post. When asked, he requested that neither his photo nor name be used on the blog. He is a very private person, which is is downright refreshing these days, especially in my neighborhood where there is an attention-seeking Kardashian lurking around every corner. Unlike the Kardashians and the many other celebrities that choose to reside in Hidden Hills, "R" is not a celebrity at all, but rather a regular guy. Really he is much more of a gentleman, a friend, and a neighbor, who happens to be very handy, kind, and generous with his time.
This all started when I parted ways with my gardener a few months ago. This is not my first time parting ways (firing, more aptly) with a gardener. I have been through as many gardeners as the Kardashians have baby-daddies (sorry, I just couldn't help making that reference). These so called "gardeners" all charge too much to do absolutely nothing. Most of the time I have to teach them how to do their own job, which isn't a good sign given what a newbie I am to the industry. So, after teaching myself to garden over this past year, I decided to cut the cord and go it alone. Well, sort of alone.
"R" comes by every two weeks to mow my lawn. I don't have a huge lawn and could probably manage it myself, but I really appreciate that he does it for me. It takes one thing off my long list of yard chores (and trust me, the list is extensive), which is a hugely helpful. But there's more to it than that. I really look forward to his bi-weekly visits. He is like a father figure to me and I enjoy just being out in the yard, amongst the plants talking with him about gardening and life. And I think he likes being of help to me. That's just the kind of person he is.
We always find lots to talk about. I discuss any challenges I am having with the garden and get his advice. He is an avid gardener and always has helpful tips. He also helps me with extra projects if they are above my pay grade such as irrigation issues or last week when he helped me remove the rest of the pool fence and prepare it for storage. I show him my newest gardening tools and get his stamp of approval on my purchases, or nod of disapproval (which usually means a trip back to Home Depot for me). We discuss how many rattlesnakes I have found skulking in the garden on any given week (none last week, so it was a good week). We discuss what my kids, and his granddaughter, have been up to and how they are dealing with the pandemic. I call it, Thursdays with "R" (think of Tuesdays with Morrie, except neither of us is dying, that we know of, Thank God).
I think that "R" and I share similar values and have a common point of view. Through our many conversations, I have observed that we both like to do things ourselves. I think this is primarily because when we hire others to do them, they just don't meet our standards (impossibly high, some might argue). "If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself." I would venture a guess that he lives as closely by that motto as I do. Speaking for myself, it's not always easy being a perfectionist, especially when you also have four children to parent by yourself, but what can you do? You can start by getting a little help from a friend, who happens to be a swell guy who drives a Porsche!