Life Here

September 21, 2016 By PVE Residents

Good Gardens Make Good Neighbors at PVE

There’s no shortage of beautiful landscaping or public gardens on campus at PVE. However, we’re equally proud of our resident gardens.  New residents are accustomed to being asked, “Are you a gardener?” by their new neighbors when they first arrive. The response is usually affirmative.

The dedication, hard work, and success of our resident gardeners brightens all of our lives. One such showplace is the residence of Cathy and Jim Thomson and it may be more representative of PVE than people realize.

“I don’t have patience for seeds, so I mostly work with cuttings from friends and neighbors, some of whom may not even realize that they’ve given them to me,” Cathy said with a hint of mischief.

“I’m amazed,” she added. “I did not think anything would grow the first time my shovel hit the clay dirt here almost four years ago. But I willed the flowers to grow and I’m lucky Jim will go to Lowe’s for large bags of fertilizer. “I can understand people who do not like to garden, but playing with mud pies is a fond childhood memory, and I still do not use gloves when handling the soil.”

Fred Barthmus is pround that his house is known as “the one with the roses”. He grows both the bush and tree varieties, having mastered both the humidity in Florida and the challenging clay soil here. His only requirement is that the roses must be fragrant.

Roses are also the specialty of Dennie Hansen who features climbers and tea roses in her selection.

A self-described friend of flowers, Bobbi Neilson says she loves to plant them, talk to them and watch them grow. She transplanted most of the floral color and shrubs along the side of her house from her previous home in Vacaville.

“It’s a win for everyone,” said Judy Mulenburg, co-chair of PVE’s monthly Garden Party Club. “All of our residents enjoy the flowers and beauty, and the gardeners delight in sharing their blooming plants even while bemoaning that you should have been here last week when my roses and cymbidiums were in full bloom.“


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