As Mary sat on what she called her Sunset bench, enjoying a glass of wine in the
early evening sun, her mind wondered back over the last ten years. Her and her husband Bill had both retired at the age of 65 with many great plans for all their free time. Initially they travelled, making the most of their freedom, they visited hill tribes in South East Asia and vineyards in New Zealand. They stopped off in New York to see the High Line and the galleries. In Scotland they’d roamed around ancient castles in waterproofs and woolly hats.
Bill had taken a course in cabinet making and with a lot of practice had built some lovely furniture for their house. She’d fulfilled her lifelong ambition of studying for a MA in Modern English Literature. They’d done practical jobs as well like decorating the house and fitting a new kitchen. They’d kept up with the garden and tidied out the shed. She still volunteered as a dog walker at the local animal rescue centre a couple of times a week. Mary wondered how they’d ever had time for full time jobs.
Recently however, the trials of getting older had affected them both. Bill had been diagnosed with angina which meant he’d had to slow down a fair bit. The arthritis in her knees was getting worse, making it harder to keep up with the dog walking and gardening. These ailments, while not life threatening had added challenges they’d not previous faced and had prompted them to re-think their garden.
Mary knew they needed to make changes to the garden but wasn’t really sure where to start. Their son Mark, an Architect who still lived locally suggested a Garden Designer that he’d worked with on a couple of client projects. Right from the first meeting Mary and Bill had with the designer they felt enthused and also extremely reassured. Although they needed to adjust to their health issues it didn’t mean they couldn’t enjoy their garden. They’d walked around the garden together chatting about all sorts, the designer prompting them with questions every so often. They’d talked about the existing trees which they were very fond of, the grey paving that they hated and they’d reminisced about their travels. Bill had joked about, as is his way, and Mary had lightheartedly scolded him. The designer just laughed and said it all helped build up a rapport and a good understanding of her clients. An hour quickly passed and Mary felt an wave of anticipation; she already knew Bill wanted to hire this designer, as did she.
One point the designer raised was having sufficient seating options to make the most of the sun, or particularly in Bill’s case the shade, at certain times of the day. They’d talked about it then laughed about it; just sitting down and chilling out was OK. In fact, as Mary sat on her new Sunset bench, she realised it was more than OK. During her quiet reflection, the sun had set and the shadows had disappeared. It was time to go indoors and find out what mischief Bill was creating.
Do you want to find out more about Mary and Bill? What other changes are they making to their garden? What 'mischief' as Mary calls it, does Bill get up to next?
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