While I have been recovering I haven't done any work in the garden. Rik has kept the grass mowed, but the strawberry and raspberry patches were choked with weeds and grass. I haven't wanted to water anything (and we've had a dry spell for the past two weeks), because I didn't want to encourage the weeds. Every day the strawberries and raspberries would put out more flowers and fruit, and things were just out of hand.
So I took S's idea from seven years ago, when I was recovering from the broken leg and couldn't do things for myself. She said, "Ask a group of people to come over and do the project. You'll be amazed at how easy it is for people to say yes."
Last week I sent out an email "invitation" to many friends to come over and help weed the garden today. Eight people showed up and in the course of two and a half hours we did it all. Weeded the strawberries and raspberries, trimmed back the ferns, removed starts that were growing in the wrong places, and even hacked up a whole row of unwanted raspberries, weeds, and a cherry tree offshoot which we have been trying to get rid of for years. We even spread compost around the strawberries and raspberries, something they haven't had since we moved in seven years ago. Rik transplanted the cherry tree and we will see if it takes.
Now that's what I call good friends -- they work all afternoon in your garden, visit and tell stories, and all they ask in return is a cold drink. Of course we also had some nibbles -- goat cheese and crackers, fruit salad, vegan orange/lemon cake, chocolate pound cake, rosemary shortbread cookies, iced lemon-ginger and mint tea.
It was a glorious afternoon to be outdoors in the sun with friends.