The Magnificent Seven

A Tribute to Important Women

It brought us together.

I am a Master Gardener. It took 9 months of classes, mostly once a week for 4 hours, plus field trips and studying for midterm and final, plus a minimum of 100 hours of volunteer labor in that first year. Needless to say, I spent a tremendous amount of quality time with my classmates, learning, laughing and working hard. I got to know them and they got to know me. I still keep in touch, almost five years later, with many of those classmates. They are a special bunch.

 Prior to starting the Master Gardener training my friends were mostly the parents of my children’s friends: fun, nice, supportive people, but I yearned to find my people, those who loved to work in the garden; people who got dirty and ached at the end of the day from all the gardening they’d done; people who knew how to grow trees, shrubs, perennials; people who could create beauty from dirt.

 I found my people in Master Gardener class: Ginger, Pat, Gail, Margaret, Lita, Jenny. These women – different ages, different careers, different kinds of families – we have a common thread that binds us: a love of gardening and a sense of purpose. These women have helped me with projects, offered advice, and lent support. They are talented. They are caring. And best of all, they are my friends.

 Ginger, steel magnolia, has a brain that works faster than anyone else’s I’ve ever met and she has a towering talent for design that matches the speed of her brain. She’s Thelma to my Louise. Together, we could take over the world and make it a better place. Or at least that’s what Pat said the other day!

 Pat, who never thinks a project is too large to tackle (including her massive new yard), is a rock, thoughtful and kind. She uses her hands and creates beauty: gardening, sewing, crafting, whatever. And I trust this Midwestern woman to always have my back.

 Gail, mover and shaker, balances her life, sons, more than full time business, husband, and 2 high-maintenance dogs without missing a beat or messing up her hair. She’s loyal and sincere and always willing to work hard and achieve stellar results.

 Margaret, creative and dynamic, is a talented landscape designer. She used her knowledge and skill to help me turn a massive run-down schoolyard into a showpiece. Gratis. I will be forever grateful for her talent, generosity and good cheer through the two-plus years of the project.

 Lita, thoughtful Lita, is a calm breeze in a windy world. She can cut directly to the crux of an issue, kindly. And with her razor-sharp pruners in hand and knowledge in her head Lita can take an overgrown landscape and turn it into a showplace, methodically and competently.

 And Jenny, talented and driven, started her own landscape design business and hasn’t looked back. She knows more Latin plant names than I’ve forgotten! And she dances, beautifully; Jenny, ballet and ballroom: perfect together.

 I am blessed. Tell me about some of your friends.

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