Wednesday, May 16, 2007

To a fellow devotee of the dirt: Happy birthday!

Sentimental musings are not in my line, but I think most who read this blog would admit that no one gardens alone. This post is dedicated to my best friend and closest gardening buddy, Cheryl (at left), who, unbelievably and contrary to all physical evidence, turns 50 today.

Ever since I moved into the GWI property, my gardening endeavors have often been undertaken in Cheryl’s company, especially shopping. In the spring of 2000, we bought tree peony plants together, and although I like the color of mine slightly better, I have to admit that hers is more floriferous. She has more sun.

At first, Cheryl was wary of roses because of all the spraying—she tries to maintain an organic garden. I bought her this Carefree Wonder maybe five years ago and it’s doing great, better than any of mine. Again, she has more sun.

But my favorite things in Cheryl’s garden are not the showy chorus-girl flowers like the peonies and roses. I greatly admire her sense of plant design, especially in this shady area in the back, largely made up of ferns, hosta, ligularia, and other restful foliage-centric perennials. This border may be changing after a recent tree loss. (Uh oh, here comes the sun again!)

Over the past eight years or so, Cheryl and I have collaborated on many garden-related activities, including:
—visits to local garden shows.
—trips to the Botanical Gardens to test our photography skills.
—many, many, many shopping expeditions.
—exhaustive research and development consultations over drinks.
—and, finally, a collaboration on the recent Garden Walk Buffalo book, which I edited and wrote and for which she co-produced an accompanying DVD.

I am asking all my colleagues in gardening to raise a glass of champagne to Cheryl, a talented artist and gardener, a wonderful friend, and a spectacular woman all-round. (You were going to have some anyway, right?!)

And, Cheryl—please get broadband access so you can read this post!


cheyjay57 said...

Your gardening friend sounds so fun and cool! My only suggestion would be that she get a bit more adventurous and break out of her rectanglularly boxed (boring) beds. Anyway, it was a very nice tribute, she must LOVE having you as her best gardening buddy!

Nancy J. said...

A beautiful trib!
I like your gardening images and give you an A+ for them.
Too bad your blog can't have a scratch & sniff component.

Blackswamp_Girl said...

Happy Birthday, Cheryl! :)

Elizabeth, thanks for posting the pictures of Cheryl's gardens. Lovely--and an organic rose garden is wonderful. I aspire to organic rose gardening.

susan harris said...

50? That reminds me of Gloria Steinem declaring "This is what60 looks like" when she looked about 42. And I'm glad to see a good-looking Carefree Wonder. The one I bought last fall is looking dangerously garish, I must say, but Cheryl's gives me hope.