June 22, 2007
BARTERING FOR SERVICES
So one day I walk into this beauty shop in a nearby neighborhood and ask for a hair cut and color. The young girl they assigned to me, Anita, shampooed my hair and as she was trimming it she asked, " Haven't I met you somewhere before ? Do you work around here ?" " Yes, as a matter of fact, I do, I work up the street at the garden center a few days a week and I always walk by on my way to work. "
" I knew it ! " , she said, " That's where I saw you. I'm there all the time. " I want to fix up my front and back yards this year, but I can't afford a landscape designer. Would you be willing to trade services - I'll come to your house and do your hair and you come to my house and do my garden design.?" Well , some two hundred dollars later when I got the bill, I eagerly agreed to trade services.
That was three years ago and Anita and I have become close friends and gardening buddies. Her garden, I'm pleased to say, is the envy of the neighbors. And my hair, I get a lot of compliments. And I don't have to sit in a salon for hours on end, a big time saver for me.
The thing that makes me happy most about our arrangement is the love of gardening that Anita has gained and the pride of accomplishing a beautiful landscape with her own sweat equity.
She and I share a love of hydrangeas ( that's her most recent purchase Limelight behind her ) and a loathing of plant-eating rabbits. The first year I designed and we planted her front garden the rabbits ate it to the ground over the winter , mugo pine and all. I didn't know that rabbits liked roses, thorns and all !
So we've embarked on a war on rabbits. We're trying a product called Plantskydd which is a spray with bloodmeal in it. The difference in this product is that it is emulsed in an oil binder base and is guaranteed for 4 months in the summer and 6 in the winter. Unlike regular bloodmeal you're not suppose to have to reapply it each time it rains. I'll believe it when I've tested it and that's what we're doing right now.
More on our test results later.