Yesterday I was able to work for a wonderful kind lady in her upper 70's, frail due to a long recovery from a broken leg which followed a surgery. Her yard/garden is beautiful but obviously has not received attention the last 2-3 years. Rather than give up in despair this lady has decided to do what she enjoys, which is garden, and she does quite a lot herself, despite bad arthritis in her hand, shingles, and need of a cane.
But she needs help. The yard is indeed too much for her as it is.
Her joy in seeing the garden "come back" is palpable. My job is to do all the needed pruning of overgrown plants and then also to go into her deep very sunny back beds (It was hot as hell yesterday) and get rid of the 6-7 species of vines, all the volunteer trees, and generally make safe spaces for her to start over planting what she loves. Yes, start over. She plans to get stronger and to do more than she does now.
We share a common love for four o'clocks. Anyone who loves four o'clocks is a friend of mine.
People say to me that is good that I get to do what I love. I do like plants and I like working outside. But what I really love is making a difference in the lives of my clients, more and more of whom I now consider to be my friends. And if the client is in his or her late years, the possibility of them having peace and joy in their favorite space surrounded by a history of living and planting is deeply rewarding to me.
I'm really not in the gardening business so much as the joy business...