"Home is People. Not a Place."

"They" say time flies whether you are having fun or not, and that "wisdom" has certainly been the case for me when it comes to my posting on HT. For in one week's time (September 25th 2014), it will be two months since my last entry on HT and most of the time spent during my absence has not been fun.
Soon after my last posting here, I found out that I could no longer postpone surgery on my eyes and I've been preoccupied with the logistics of pre-op as well as the inevitable post-op procedures.
The surgery was scheduled for this past Monday (September 15th 2014), and even though I had arranged for someone to take me to and from surgery and had completed the tasks and procedures which needed to be done before my operation, I have rescheduled it for November 5th 2014 due to my tend to a dear friend (of thirty years), who, without any warning had a severe medical emergency and had to be hospitalized.
He is now in a rehab center to gain back his strength through physical therapy and the road to his recovery seems to be long.
My friend's name is Victor, and we first became acquainted with each other upon a chance encounter along the Hudson River where each of us had gone to see the sunset, and ever since that evening, we have been with each other through thick and thin (mostly thick).
Moreover we have had dinner together almost every night for over a dozen years. Victor lives in the high-rise building directly north of me and it can be seen in the first image of this entry.
Victor's apartment does not face mine, but it seems folks in his building (especially the ones who have windows which face me) know who I am as they have seen Victor with me in my garden.

However, at this point it has been quite some time since Victor was here and upon my talking with him by phone last night, I wonder if he will ever be able to return to his home or visit mine, and my concern brings me to the title of this entry : "Home is people. Not a place."

The quote was supposedly made by Robin Hobb in her work, "Fool's Fate;" however, I am not familiar with the reference. But I agree with Ms. Hobb that "Home is people. Not a place."

And, without Victor being around, my place hasn't felt like home, although I've tried to provide a home of sorts for the birds which visit my garden.

One of my accommodations for them includes a peanut feeder (upper right hand corner) that the jays and sparrows nosh from on a regular basis.

And I still have my make-shift feeder (indicated by the top arrow) where cardinals, house finches and sparrows dine, even though they continue to be taunted by an array of pigeons.

Moreover, I also have a bird bath (indicated by bottom arrow) for my feathered friends. It hangs from a stake that I've inserted into the home (container) of my Beech Tree.
The Beech Tree is thriving as you can see in the image above (where the top black arrow is pointing).

Moreover my Autumn Clematis is now sporting hundreds of little white flowers. (Some of them are indicated by the bottom black arrow.) Additionally my varieties of Echinacea are lush in spite of having their soil pulled out when birds (and I'm not naming names) bury peanuts there.

And my Smoke Bush seems pleased in her fairly new (June 2014)

home/place (the container indicated by the yellow arrow). This is my Smoke Bush's third home as she out grew her first one (clay) as well as her second one (fiber glass).

The height of the Smoke Bush's current home was essential to me. And before it was constructed by a local lumber store, my garden comrade Juan V, suggested I have them put in a false bottom in order for me to be able to use less soil, which is something I think about when schlepping bags of it up the seventy stairs which lead to my home.

The work-in progress (re the construction of the container) can be seen in the five images below.
The idea of using a false or raised bottom for a container was something I wanted to share with HT gardeners much earlier. I had even planned to do so with a post that gave very specific text to be accompanied by photo-ops of the previous two "homes" (containers) that my Smoke Bush had lived in.

However, due to my my current eye-challenge, as well as my preoccupation with Victor's well being, please forgive my sketchy account of a how-to when it comes to considering a false or raised bottom home for your shrubs or trees.

But I will say If you live in the tri-state area, have an urban garden, and are not handy with building things from wood, but want to consider this option, I highly recommend you allow Mike's Furniture Store to create your container, as they built mine. The staff that worked with me on this was most helpful, and you can find info about their services by calling 212-873-1336.

Meanwhile, dear reader, how are things with you and yours? Do you feel that home is people and not a place? If so, I hope you have someone around you to make your place a home.
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
Join the conversation
2 of 7 comments
  • EdenMaker EdenMaker on Apr 05, 2015
    Patricia, thank you for sharing the story of your friendship with Victor. You are a wonderful and thoughtful friend and I'm sure he misses your company as much as you miss his. I will keep you both in prayer. SHirley Bovshow

  • Jen1515130 Jen1515130 on Apr 18, 2015
    Love your garden. Praying for Victor all the time. God is good and His mercies are new every morning. Great is His faithfulness.