My choice for February's Gardener of the Month is Hanna Bechard of 'A Woman's Touch with a European Flair'. She is a great gardener (though we vary in our opinions on certain plants) and really knows her stuff, but most of all, she is a thoughtful gardener who cares about her clients and people.
When I first came back from Iraq in 2003 I was zeaolously gardening and improving my home and property. One of the to do (must do) things on my list was to make a sidewalk between the back deck stairs and side gate. The previous owners or some other owner of our home in the past had placed round stepping stones lined by landscape timbers, and surrounded by rocks in place for a sidewalk. It was not a workable sidewalk solution at all. I wanted brick. I called a few landscapers in town for an estimate. I don't remember them all but Hanna is one I definitely remembered.
I asked Hanna to come out and give me an estimate for making my sidewalk. She did and although I chose to build the sidewalk myself (with some help from my two boys), I remember Hanna from another experience I had with her.
While here measuring for the sidewalk, guess what else we talked about? Gardening of course. Hanna is also a gardener, which really I couldn't imagine a landscaper NOT being. She told me about her garden and we began talking plants, specifically cannas. I told her I did not have any cannas and she offered to give me some when she divided hers. I profusely thanked her in advance and let her get on her way never expecting to hear from her about any cannas, especially since we didn't hire her.
Imagine my surprise six months later when out of the blue Hanna called me and said I could come and get the cannas. I was stunned to say the least. Most people would probably let it go and forget all about the promise of giving away some flowers to a person she just met once and who didn't do business with her. But not Hanna.
I have not forgotten this little act of remembering and thank her kindly for the cannas. She gave me not just some, but a whole box full. I even shared some with my mail lady who then reciprocated by sharing some hen and chicks with me.
When I met with her this week I found even more reasons to choose her as a gardener of the month. She is really experienced and puts alot of thought and care into everything she does, whether commercially or privately. Currently she is renovating her home to sell to some lucky buyer in the real estate business. I saw the work and it is really good stuff. She is also the mother to a teenager and preteen and a very busy lady.
We talked about the landscaping around her home and what she planned to do to renovate it as well as the house. She and I disagree on a few things (she doesn't like crabapples because they are hard to mow over, I really like crabapples BUT I don't mow over them, she prefers evergreen shrubs for interest whereas I really like a variety of both evergreen and deciduous shrubs) but we also agree on many more things such as the practice of topping being bad, oakleaf hydrangeas and Nellie R. Stevens hollies are SUPER plants to use in a landscape, and providing color can be easily accomplished with the use of perennials and bulbs. I thoroughly enjoyed talking to her and told her I would post this posting sometime this week but that it would not be in the paper. I have since changed my mind and wanted to share it with not only you online blog readers, but also the hard copy newspaper readers as well. I did so enjoy talking with her and found she really does know her stuff and was fun to talk to. Just like most gardeners I meet. This is why I have chosen Hanna Bechard as my choice for February's Gardener of the Month.
The first picture is of Hanna, and the second picture is of some daffodils growing in her yard. You can clearly see the yellow of the flower buds, spring is right around the corner.
in the garden....