There used to be an ad for some super product that claimed it cleaned your home like a white tornado. We had two at our house. Beth and Bob can organize and execute a maintenance plan before others could make a detailed list. They said they would bring their work clothes, but I didn’t realize how much work they would accomplish while wearing them. It all began innocently enough when Beth headed for the garden and Bob looked at our angel fountain.
Beth is a super gardener, and she has a lovely way of accomplishing things. Instead of saying our garden was a mess, she gently asked if I thought it would be a good idea to pull plants back from the defining stones of the path. My original request was much tamer. I wanted an identification of a shrub with lavender flowers, which turned out to be spirea. She also taught me the name of plants beside the back porch, cotoneaster, pronounced ca tony aster. It’s a good thing I heard it first before she spelled it.
The rest of the day was a whirl. Bob cleaned our gutters and eaves, checked the fireplace to show us how to reset the controls, rehung the office closet door which keeps falling off, moved the heavy concrete birdbath to my deck, and tweaked anything else that seemed amiss. He and John looked at our new angel fountain, coming to the conclusion we’d bought a pump that was overkill. Before we quit for the day, we all went to Lowe’s to get a new pump, loppers for heavy pruning, a lightweight birdbath, and more plants.
Beth used the loppers like an artist, removing just the right things to make a pretty picture. That sentence doesn’t convey all the strenuous work involved. Only another born gardener could truly appreciate it. When we relaxed on the porch, we could admire all that she had done. We also saw another result of our labors – totally confused birds. A poor dove landed near where the old birdbath had been and looked around with a bewildered expression. He poked about on the ground, stalked around the stump where the old one had been, and eyed the new glass bath with suspicion. Golly! I never thought of privacy! Birds had begun to bathe in the concrete one after we put stones in it. They could hop below the rim for their ablutions. The glass one simply presents the water flat out with nowhere to hide. We may put a stone in it. Maybe a beach umbrella? in scale, of course.