Hello, my dear blog followers! I was outside playing in my gardens today and it dawned on me that I have not told you a Pete Dole story. Sooo..
Once upon a time (last year), in the land called The Timbrook Guesthouse, Peter Dole found out how much I love him. Because I let him live!!!
Peter is often referred to from my friends as “Captain Tool”. I guess it is a play on his company, Capital Tool, and the fact that this man has every tool known to man. And he likes to find reasons to use them all. However, years ago I took the privilege of the Felco pruners away from him along with anyone else that happens to help us on our property. If I am not outside and standing right there, Felco pruners are off limits.
That being said, one day last season, I spent the afternoon with my own bucket of tools and worked on our 30 year old juniper hedge that for years had been encroaching out onto our driveway. Juniper is hard to prune and takes a long time to recover from pruning and to send out new growth. Peter had been on me for awhile to rip it out and start fresh but I just wasn’t ready to give up on it. It was a very mature hedge and it provided privacy as well as good protective habitat for my wild outside friends. So, I kept cutting and reshaping and after a full afternoon of getting bit by this plant I stepped back and was satisfied that I added a few more years on to it’s longevity.
And then I went in to shower.
I came up from my lower level suite dreaming of my dinner cocktail but was quickly distracted by the sound of a chainsaw. I went running to the front door and looked out to see my darling husband, chainsaw in hand, finishing what was left of my struggling hedge.
Gone. Stumps. Completely raised.
In shock and speechless, I went running out to him. Before I could say anything, he turns to me and says, “Well, you never told me I couldn’t touch the chainsaw”!
He had me. Or at least he thought so. He did look pretty proud of himself and reading the thoughts behind the smirk, he was pretty sure his blue pants would not be taken away. (As a way of punishment growing up, his mother would take his blue jeans away due to the fact that they were his most prized possession and really the only thing he would ever wear. Things haven’t changed much in his wardrobe today!)
I quickly had to get my head wrapped around that my juniper was gone for good. I usually take my time thinking and planning by garden designs but now there was a sense of urgency due to the fact that it looked horrible and we were in the height of our busiest season.
Plan: Go to Oakland Nursery. My home away from home.
I love hydrangeas. It has been my master plan to have every variety established here on our property. Peter on the other hand has told me “no more.” He does not want me to bring home anymore hydrangeas.. new species or not.
Well, I got to Oakland and started to wander and browse. And then there it was. That years latest hydrangea bush. Strawberry Sundae. Fantastic! I will take 25 please.
I got home and Peter came out to the truck to help me unload my haul and to see what was going to go into the blank landscape that he created. He looked into the truck, saw all the hydrangeas and turned to me and said, “I said no more hydrangeas”! My quick response was, “Chainsaw, really?” My loving husband preceded to unload all 25 Strawberry Sundae Hydrangeas and dug all 25 Strawberry Sundae Hydrangea holes.
And that was the end of that.
One year later, our Timbrook Guesthouse guests will soon get to see the first gorgeous blooms on my newly planted hedge that truth be told, will be much more beautiful than the old overgrown bedraggled juniper.
I love my husband.
Timbrook Hydrangea Enthusiast
“The four most beautiful words in our common language: I told you so.” Gore Vidal