If you're just joining us for the first time please read this post first, then part two, and then part three and you'll be all caught up.....thanks!
So "Pete" began his tour. He lead us through some over grown paths to a couple different ponds with waterfalls and fountains. I could see that they were once very beautiful but they definitely needed some attention.
He continued to quiz me on plant names which sometimes I knew but most times I didn't. Lori and I asked lots of questions and he seemed pleased to share his knowledge.
There was a point where he lead us around the back of his house. Lori and I both felt a little uneasy (she confirmed later)....but he only wanted to show us his shade gardens filled with so many different Hosta varieties that I lost track....he also had some beautiful Japanese Woodland Peonies that I had never seen before. This is also when he compassionately put his old dog in the house....he had been wheezing behind us and trying to keep up but was struggling.....I could see how much "Pete" loved that dog.
"Perennial Pete test part three" began when he asked if I "cooked". He broke off a piece of plant and told me to smell it. Thank goodness it was an easy one...."Thyme!" I said and he got a big smile on his face.....I seemed to pass onto the next level of acceptance to "Pete" because this is the point where he began to grab my hand to show me things with even more excitement. And this is where I tell you another one of my "quirky personality traits".... I don't like to be touched....pretty much everyone that knows me figures that out....but I found it kinda sweet that he was so excited to show me the next flower or garden or whatever....
He lead us to a couple more ponds with hand made bridges, waterfalls and loaded with big Koi....and then he stopped and broke off another plant leaf..."chew on this one"....he handed a piece to Lori too. I hesitated for a moment....I have no idea what "Pete" is feeding me....he could poison me for all I know....bury us in his backyard....or put me in the compost pile, use me as a fertilizer....or lock us in the shed....or....Oh what the heck!! I popped the leaf in my mouth and chewed....horseradish!!! (yuck btw)....and he smiled and we moved on.
"Pete" continued to "feed" (or test) me. I think I had a 50% average (not so good). He also had a large area of berries which he proudly had us sample and compare varieties.
He then lead us to the back of his property when he had an enormous vegetable garden. He talked about his soil that he composted himself. It was dark and fluffy and rich. Lori and I noticed that he sank to his ankles as he stepped into it. "you don't expect me to go in there do you?" I asked and we both looked at my flip flop clad feet...."Pete" smiles and says "Yes, I know you will. I knew you would when you ate my herbs back there"....then he turned around and lead the way. I kicked off my flip flops and stepped in....and it was actually very nice.
"Pete" ended up giving me some onions to take home. He did spend sometime trying to talk about the land development...he has his side of the story of course....and I can understand his frustrations....but I tried to steer the conversation away from all that.
Flowers and gardens are more fun to focus on....and I think maybe "Pete" and I could be friends. I have a lot to learn and he has a lot of knowledge.....and I'm not just talking about flowers and gardens here....