- Author: Lowell Cooper
I have been doing my own gardening. I am, however, getting to the age when I can imagine not wanting to do it or actually not feeling/being able to do it. Pruning 75 roses, fertilizing, checking irrigation regularly, taking out the old and putting in the new. All these tasks seem quite manageable at this point. How to prepare for the inevitable is the question. And besides aging, sometimes it is good to be able to take time off these tasks which can get demanding.
Finding an able, willing and reliable helper is not easy. It takes a village to tend a garden. I have experienced several individuals that didn't work out. Some were just unreliable. Nothing is more frustrating than having an appointment and being stood up. Or having an appointment and having the person come whenever they want. As a former Psychologist, during the decades I worked I came to rely on regularity. I wouldn't have wanted patients to show up whenever they wanted and miss appointment times. Likewise, they wouldn't have wanted me to not show up when scheduled.
I have experienced potential helpers who were very busy and were always wanting to make last-minute reschedules. I found myself not liking surprises like calls canceling times on the spur of the moment or even during our supposed meeting time.
Sometimes I had myself to blame for not knowing Spanish or Japanese. I thought these fellows (and they were all men) were decent potential helpers, but it was difficult to communicate what I needed done and other details. A no-fault lack of connection which I couldn't bridge.
Then there were individuals who were just going into business and didn't have equipment of their own to bring. This could also be a person who had had his truck broken into or stolen and he was rebuilding. I felt bad about this situation, but what to do. I didn't see myself as a branch of the Small Business bureau. I should be more generous in my outlook but I have to admit I expected preparedness.
Then there were the prospects who felt like they were on loan from a botanical garden. They clearly knew a lot – probably more than I did – and prided themselves on telling me what to grow and how to grow them. Where to put the plants, how to fertilize them, how to prune, and how to cluster the plants. I am surely an amateur grower, but since I am paying the bill and living with the result, I want to respect my ignorance.
I have not yet had an outright personality conflict. That will no doubt come probably as I continue doing this search. I guess when it comes down to it I am realizing that this meshing is an interpersonal challenge. I can't imagine – or I don't want to think it is true – that I am the only person who runs into these issues. Patience and determination to finally get it right seems like the only choices. Staying young indefinitely is just not an option. Other ideas?