When our street was widened and repaved a few years ago, we ended up with a couple of garden beds around the mailboxes. We live on a driveway that accesses five houses, two of which are rentals. I casually suggested to our friends, Jim and Carol (who live across the driveway from us and have an awesome garden) that we put down weed barrier and rocks. Jim opened his mouth in mock horror and countered with a proposal of planting flowers.
Fine, I conceded, let's do it.
By us, I guess I meant me, although I have cajoled the neighbours into contributing in ways that aren't painful to them. Jim ponied up a boatload of perennial starts that, combined with my own, have made enormous progress over these last few years in filling up the beds. My goal is for the plants to completely cover the area and this just might be the year that it happens.
Another neighbour, who lives next to the street, kindly lets me drag her water hose to the flowers so that I can water them in the heat of the summer. I try to be kind to her water bill by irrigating as minimally as possible.
Other than that, it's usually yours truly doing all the planting, weeding, watering, slug-baiting and soil amendment tasks throughout the year.
So, I figure I get to post as many political signs as I please.
And I do.
Vote for Angel, he's our man!
The beds are filled with a mixture of perennials that grow larger every year and annuals that consistently re-seed, such as cosmos and these pink bachelor's buttons. This clump sprouted in the late fall and somehow survived the cold of winter. It is almost ready to flower.
I love the different shades of huechera. This is one of my favourites.
Also known as coral bells, they attract humming birds and bees. The clumps in the back are shamrocks that will soon be covered in pink flowers.
Hardy pink geraniums are already in flower.
Daniel and I had weeded most of the two beds a few weeks ago. This one was more than our stamina could handle, so the seedy grass was in full reign by last weekend. Jeff kindly asked me what I wanted him to do in the garden on Saturday and I jumped at the chance to have help with this final bit of weeding. Notice that this flowerbed is not technically completely in our jurisdiction, but I take care of it anyway. The far end of it is in front of the next house on the street and houses their mailbox. The house is another rental.
Jeff and I were digging (him) and groaning (me) as we neared the end of the job, when out walked the lady of the rental house. We had never met her before. She kind of chuckled as she collected her mail and made a comment about how all the weeds had grown.
And then she went back into her house.
We are weeding your flowerbed, which we also planted, and you don't even have the grace to say Thank you?
Maybe she thought we were the hired help.
You're welcome, I said quietly, as she closed her door.
Last Christmas, Carol gave me some lovely chocolates and a thank you for taking care of the flowerbeds.
Saying thank you is more than good manners. It is good spirituality.
Silent gratitude isn't much good to anyone.
There is no such thing as gratitude unexpressed. If it is unexpressed, it is plain, old-fashioned ingratitude.
Who have you thanked today?