Plant Rescue from Demo Site

Friday, February 16, 2018
I'm with a whole lot of you in that I cringe when the chain-link fence goes up around a property, knowing that another old house will be sacrificed, along with its old hardwood trims and flooring, built-in cabinets, and beautiful window sashes. All these materials and more are tossed into a landfill, and an ugly particle-board multi-housing unit goes up in its place, usually within 4-6 months.

Will you look at those irises?

I've been scouting out this property for months now, as the chain-link went up sometime back in November.  But today, the bulldozers arrived, and it was only today that I had someone to actually TALK to about the plants in and around the yard.  I approached the foreman to ask if I could salvage some of the plants from the old garden, and he surprised me with his welcoming and accommodating manner.  He said that usually people in the neighborhood approach him in anger, but that he would be happy to give me access to the property to take what I might be able to reuse.  With a hardhat in one hand and a bright orange vest in the other, he handed me what I needed to enter the site and scout out what I wanted.  Noting many old sword ferns, I asked if it would be possible to remove these from the site.  He IMMEDIATELY asked the guy on the excavator to stop what he was doing and excavate the entire bank so I could take the ferns.  It was all I could do not to throw my arms around his neck and give him a big hug, as he not only granted my request without a moment's pause, but he showed me that some of my assumptions about these middlemen were generalizations.  He said he, too, had a family, and did not want to see anything go to waste, but that he was hired to do this job.  He had pulled out materials from the house on his own that he felt were worth saving, and had not killed any plants on the property, including all the rose bushes, which he planned to transplant. 

It was just an overall great night.  We went back with our yellow buckets and took the sword ferns and a bunch of iris bulbs from the old garden.  I don't know who used to live there, but it was evidently an old garden that was once loved by someone.  It made me happy that some of the plants from that garden will live on in our own garden.  One of the sword ferns was so huge and so old that it put me on cloud 9 to be its new owner.

Adam, Amelia, and I celebrated at McMenamin's Barley Mill Pub, where we watched the skaters compete in the Olympics, and took in the Grateful Dead paraphernalia--as it turns out, Jerry Garcia has not really abandoned us, after all. 


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