Sunday, April 7, 2013

Garden help

Until my health issues get sorted out, I have gone (kicking and screaming) looking for help around the gardens.

No one I personally knew were aware of anyone (family or friend) who would be interesting in some part-time garden work.  So last week I looked on Craig's list.  There was an entry for 'Gardener looking for spring-cleanup work'.  She boasted that she did 2ce as much as the pro's and cost half the money.'   Hmmm.

I called and we set up a meet.  She arrived on time.  And while she was friendly enough (and certainly talkative enough),  she certainly wasn't what I would ever call a 'gardener'.  To me a gardener-for-hire has plant savvy, their own well-used tools they prefer, and usually don't ramble on about a sorry divorce, insist on showing a plethora of dog pics on a cell phone, and the like. She wanted to use all my equipment, too.

Still -- I did need help with some of the heavy lifting and digging....  So we arranged for a 4-hour trial for 2:00 pm last Thursday.  She agreed to phone me between 5 and 7 that evening before to confirm.  Her parting comment?  "I probably won't be up to speed when I come.  It's been a long winter and the muscles are soft. HaHa."   ??

She never called Wednesday night.  She called around 11:00 a.m. Thursday.  "We still on?"  I said something and she said, "What?  *yawn*  Didn't hear that.  I just got up...."

That was the end of that.  I canceled her before she ever showed up.

Crap.  Then I sent out a shout to my buddy Craig (the builder, plumber, fixer, etc.).  Was his 20-something son interested in some ready cash?  He'd check.

Saturday dawned in the 50s.  Around noon I get a call from N.  "Dad says you need help?  I could come today if you want..."  Oh, heavens, YES!

Bless his heart, we got a lot done in 4 hours that afternoon.  

He cleaned up all the sticks and branches while I scooted around on a low stool and cut back a lot of dead stalks from the birdbath bed, brick bed, crabapple bed and arbor bed.  I left all the debris next to the beds and he then raked it all up and added them to the brush pile.  Then on went the nabe's dead Xmas tree.  The birds will have to find perching elsewhere.

Next he brought up 4 water barrels from behind the shed and he scrubbed out the 2 that didn't get cleaned before I stored them away last Fall.  Then I power washed them. He also brought up a couple of heavy hoses and 4 deck chairs from out of the shed.

Finally we did something fun.  The day before I found another Miss Kim lilac to complete one of the driveway plantings.  He dug the hole and I scored the root ball, added fertilizer and water and voila!  Now that little bed is complete with sedum center and lilac bookends.

N. was affable, funny, and easy to work with, making me feel less frustrated and defensive at having to let go stuff that I used to do so matter-of-factly.  Best of all, before he left, he said, "Call me when you need more help. You got my cell, right?" 

What a boost to the spirit!  Maybe this season won't be the train wreck I'd initially imagined.  To find someone willing to work and do a good job is near impossible these days, so I'm counting my blessing for sure.  Oh, I'm a little sore today, but nothing like I'd've been doing even ONE of the chores he took care of!

Meanwhile we're promised some rain this week.  I'm going to put the screens on the  2 water barrels at the shed corners and catch some for when I put in the cold temp vegs later in the month.  Now with beds tidy (well, we never got to the ring bed - but hey, it's not going anywhere), I can enjoy my morning coffee in the sunroom looking out over the gardens with a calmer attitude and brighter outlook.  Fingers crossed....


  1. Wow-sounds like you hit a dud with the craigslist gal. So glad you got the help you needed after all. I would have LOVED to help if I lived nearby. I'm still dealing with snow so any chance to work outside would have been great.

    1. Boy, Sue, you should watch what you say. You might find a map and bus ticket in your mail box! LOL. Thanks for the sentiment, it's much appreciated. Sorry you're still dealing with snow. Bummer. Hope you can get out soon...

  2. Kris, he sounds like just what you need! I don't know why it is so hard to find anyone to do small jobs but it is. Our boy we were so impressed with in the beginning let us down miserably by the end.

    1. I guess most kids think they want to work & earn cash, but after a couple of hours - they're tired or bored or totally lose interest. I'm hoping N. has staying power.

  3. Lovely young man, worth his weight by the sound of it.

    I've temporarily 'lost' LP . . . so I do understand and sympathise


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