hi everybody--hope your weekend was great! ours was busy and productive--rob finally finished the incredible block terrace he has been building--this was needed because of the huge amount of fill that had to be brought in for our garage. it essentially ended up being built on a hill--so the terraces were needed to help stabilize the whole thing. rob has an uncanny gift for rock and block--he just talks to it somehow. no one has ever shown him how to do this--he has never read a book or anything about it. he just does it. this material he was working in was crushed concrete fill--heavy, nasty stuff. all I could do was haul block and help dig--the actual laying is his special skill. here are some pics of the finished project:
as you can see, blabby approves of the job. I planted a couple experimental lavenders to see if they can tolerate this awful excuse for soil. if they do then I will run a hedge of lavender along the long side lower terrace. didn't he do a great job?
and now on to the visit. I firmly believe that gardens are magical spaces. something usually happens each summer to remind me of this fact.
Saturday I was resting when I heard a car door. in my driveway was a small bespectacled man and his old beat up truck. he told me that his wife was really the plant person but he stopped to inquire if I had geraniums. it seems they were having a memorial service for a dear friend who had geraniums and his wife wanted to have one like it at the service. so I began talking to him to try and determine if what he wanted were pelargoniums (the red "geranium" that you see in pots all over the place) or a true geranium--which is a hardy perennial and a different critter altogether.
in the course of our conversation he mentioned that he was a potter. now I have known for years about a potter in the area--I drive past his house a lot because he has pottery EVERYWHERE in his yard--coming out of his pond, hanging from the trees--everywhere. when my friend janet was teaching herself photography in our gardens, I told her about this place. I had stopped once but no one was home. janet--ever the fearless one, drove over and spotted him working in his yard. got out and asked permission to photograph his place. she learned his name (tom munich) and they became friends. he is a retired high school art teacher, and a potter with a very high reputation. I have seen his work in galleries and it is amazing.
so when this man mentioned he was a potter, I asked if he was tom munich and indeed he was. I told him that we had a mutual friend in janet (who has since moved away) and he inquired after her and asked me to send her his regards.
tom then asked if he could look inside the little house, and as we were walking to it, I said "we have another friend in common--Gloria wicks".
now Gloria is another retired art teacher who I met very early on when I was starting my little business. she was a larger than life personality, who had taken up lost wax bronze sculpture in her retirement. she was so helpful and encouraging to me when I was starting--and I made many dried flower wreaths for her over the years--she told me my dried flower work was "almost an art form". in truth--its hard NOT to make dried flowers look like an art form--they do most of the work themselves. when I began painting, she encouraged me to learn and stretch. she helped me with my business--I remember she came one day and informed me I was going to paint my umbrella that covered my little roadside stand a different color. put her shirt on inside out and got to work helping me.
over the years we lost touch with each other entirely--and I haven't really thought about her in a long time until I met tom. when I mentioned her name he stopped and stared at me.
"that's who this memorial service is for" he said.
now I am certain this eccentric little man and his dog would not have pulled into my driveway at any other time. he told me he spends most of his time in his studio or yard, talking to himself. he probably doesn't come this way that often, and just given his reluctance to talk plants--it wouldn't be the kind of place that would capture his imagination. so I think it was Gloria that whispered to him and made him stop. I think she wanted to let me know she was gone. and maybe she wanted me to finally meet this funny, brilliant man. I sent a prayer heavenward to tell her hello, wish her bon voyage and thank her for thinking of me.
this morning I hear a wren singing for the first time in many many days. don't know if that's her or not--but I like to think it is.
gardens are magic--never doubt it.