"For Richie, the natural world is his home domain. It gives him work to do, happiness, as well as peace of mind."
Richie is a young man who has a variety of gardening skills. He lives in my neighborhood and we met when I moved into the home I am in. Richie is a person who experiences ADHD and has always enjoyed gardening, as it turns out.
While I was working to close on my home, Richie came over and offered to mow the lawn and trim the bush out front. It was the beginning of a friendship, although I was unaware of it at the time. After closing on the house and moving in, Richie did indeed come over and mow the lawn and trim the bush out front.
The extent of Richie's knowledge concerning gardening and other areas of landscaping skills was something I was not prepared for. He gave me a tour of my own property pointing out things that needed to be done, or might be done to improve the trees, plants, flowers, bushes and other growing things. Surprisingly, he knows as much or more than many professionals.
One of the first things that Richie noticed about the property I live on is the Elm trees that are on both sides of the backyard. The home had been sitting for almost a year and branches had clearly been neglected for some time prior to my moving in. Richie had no issues whatsoever with pruning back branches and even cutting down one tree that threatened to lift my garage off of the foundation because it was growing into it.
In front of the house are two young corkscrew willow trees that my girlfriend purchased and we planted with the goal of watching them grow to the point where they shade the front of the house. Richie knew what kind of trees they are, how to trim them when needed, and how to feed them. He also knew how to protect them against infestation by certain kinds of bugs.
The Front Lawn
Pueblo is a very hot and dry place to live in during the summer months with highs around 100 degrees. The people who sold the house I live in had taken the time to put down new sod, yet they neglected to take care of it after putting it down. What this means is the front lawn was dying by the time I moved in, something that did not please me. Fortunately, Richie knew exactly what to do with it.
We pulled weeds out of the front lawn, then turned the soil in the bare patches. Richie and I put down cow manure, grass seed, a layer of topsoil, and then a bit more cow manure. Several days later, and with regular watering, new grass is now growing in the bare patches and my hopes for a front lawn are within sight.
When you buy a home you sometimes, 'inherit,' what you get where the landscaping is concerned. Something I inherited was a pair of June Roses planted in a small area right off of the front porch. Sadly, these roses had been neglected and parts of them were dying.
I asked Richie what could be done with them; were they still living, or would I have to tear them out and start over? He looked the roses over and pointed out places to trim them back, as well as parts to remove entirely. He fed the roses the nutritional items they needed and now the roses out front are growing healthy, green leaves - a sign that the flowers of June will surely come.
Flowers and Mom
Richie is someone who simply enjoys growing, living things. He likes to grow flowers for his mother out front of his house, to include these ones. He has planted roses for her, as well as different varieties of flowers over time. He is not someone to let a form of disability get in the way of what he enjoys doing and is pursuing his dream of working for a greenhouse or perhaps a store with a large garden department.
As Richie continues to pursue knowledge about gardening, his work around the neighborhood is very apparent. In the yards where he has worked the difference is very noticeable; the lawns are green, healthy and mowed. The bushes and trees are well-trimmed and cared for and the flowers growing are just as healthy and cared for.
Fencing for Frijole and Ozzie
One of the things my girlfriend Kat wanted in the backyard was a small area to grow herb plants, but what about the two small dogs I haveFrijole is a mini-pin/chihuahua mix, while Ozzie is a small black dog around the same size. Both of them are very active dogs and would most likely trample any herbs growing in the yard.
Richie told me, 'Don't worry, we can put up a little fenced area and keep them out.' The next thing I knew I was staring at an area set aside with a fence just the right size to keep my little dogs out and the herbs plants safe. An inexpensive option, it works like a charm and Richie had no problem putting it up at all.
The Natural World is Home
For Richie, the natural world is his home domain. It gives him work to do, happiness, as well as peace of mind. He is very aware of the differences between organically-grown plants and corporate, 'frankenfoods,' or GMO products. Richie greatly prefers growing plants organically, shunning GMO products at every turn.
The amount I have learned from Richie about trees, roses, flowers in general, lawns and much more is stunning. He is an excellent teacher and motivator as well as a wonderful gardener. He is an incredibly valuable person to have around the community and the people in our neighborhood are thankful to have him.
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