We met Yvonne, US Army PFC Veteran at the Bear, DE Library Veterans Fair. She has significant breathing issues and cannot afford to take care of her back yard or do the things that she used to do.
She has some really nice perennials, just hiding in there...
Yvonne imagines us eliminating these weeds and replacing them with colorful perennials that she can enjoy but not have to do too much.
This tree, if you can imagine, is like the kind of tree you hope has a great rope swing on it. You could see kids climbing it, birds chirping in it and it providing a wonderful shade. Unfortunately, this tree is dead. Our friend, Peg Schofield, who is a Consulting Arborist, is concerned that it probably needs to come down. More on that later...
And weeds have taken over. Time to reclaim and rebuild so Yvonne has a nice seating area to rest and enjoy her garden.
Yvonne has not one but 2 sheds on the property, one even has electricity.
Upon further inspection, we notice that concrete had been poured down the center of the tree. This is tragic.
We've got trees and poison ivy and a ton of day lilies. Lots of materials to recycle for Yvonne's transformation are hidden back there.
The condition of this tree is extremely alarming and not to mention very dangerous for Yvonne.
Board member Dawn shows off the new banner and is ready to go at 9:30am!
Advisory board member, Heidi did an incredible job pruning Yvonne's roses, azaleas and rhododendrons. And, she brought watermelon and Gatorade! Thanks, Heidi!
We said goodbye to the dog, but Yvonne has decided with a little love, we should keep Bambi and place him in the yard as a decorative touch.
Drove over from New Jersey to help us! Thank you Tony for your service, for volunteering and getting rid of some pretty hefty weeds.
Turns out there is a beautiful Lily there. And it gives us the idea that we could make a patio space here.
Jason , once again is showing those weeds who is boss. Thank you, Jason.
We set the plans in motion back in June. Almost two months later, we were still searching for assistance. The storms have been crazy this summer, and we've been worried that this tree would come down and cause major damage. And then...
Our paths always seem to be filled with people wanting to give back .
Joe Romello and his family, raised their hands for Yvonne's tree. Here was that tree at the end of Day 1.
That's Joe, dismantling the tree. Joe, thank you for taking down this tree! More photos to come...
If you think downpours hinder our volunteers, then you don't know us. Joe Romello and his sons came back to remove the tree stump and prep the area for our volunteers.
Ready to work, our volunteers showed up at 11am and there was plenty to do. Who knew there would be so much football trash talk? Thank you Olivia, Michael, Board Members Jason and Dawn, Advisory Board Members Teresa and Heidi for your enthusiasm and hard work!
We can't thank our Army Veteran (and Cowboys fan) enough for all of her support for Heroic Gardens. Thank you Teresa for continuing your work serving Veterans.
After Kristen and Advisory Board Member Pete cut out the foundation, Board Member Jason, sets the boarders, levels the gravel and measures out the pavers.
Dawn, Teresa and Olivia, found all kinds of artifacts underneath that tree that Joe and his family took down. Rocks, horseshoes, cement...It's all out and the area is ready for a tree planting in the spring.
When we salvaged that deer from behind one of the sheds, we asked our Veteran if she'd like to hold on to it and what her favorite color was...nice job, Heidi!
With the patio pavers installed, the tree stump finished, bulbs planted and weeding complete, this Veteran's house is finished for the season. Join us in Spring 2020 for tree and plant installation.
Amidst COVID-19 we were concerned for the health of our Veterans and our Volunteers. We also knew that trees must be planted! So, a few board members practiced social distancing to get this job done! Here board member Heidi assembles the brand new patio furniture.
Advisory board member, Joe dropped off the generous donation of a Redbud and Crepe Myrtle trees from Sam Brown's Wholesale Nursery in Malvern, PA. Here, Board member Dawn, helps the Crepe Myrtle to its new home.
So, Yvonne has an old close line that was rotting. It was the PERFECT place for the Redbud. That's when our family of volunteers stepped in to remove the post and concrete. Thanks for the muscles, guys!
Board member, Heidi freshens up those beautiful grasses from our friends at Enliven Planters. Mulch really made them pop.
Dawn spent just about her entire day, clearing out residual roots from that tree that Advisory Board member, Joe and his family removed. Here's the tree in it's new home!
Board member Heidi tends to the flower beds, while the patio gets its first official use! Amazing work team. Congratulations on your efforts!
Two families joined together to tear down what we believe was a dog house that was behind Yvonne's garden shed. Thanks to Board member Heidi and Advisory Board member Joe for recruiting their families!
Here the guys literally roll the remaining structure down the driveway for haul away.
Joe and Heidi prep the bag for pick up. Yes, Heidi is hauling cement!
Volunteer Tricia, starts sifting through the remaining debris to prepare the land for grass seed. This dog house is history!
After Board member Jason and Advisory Board member worked to bring Yvonne's patio to life in 2019, Board member Dawn, worked with Yvonne to design a flower bed around her new patio. Heidi tilled the soil and Dawn begins to ensure there are no additional roots from that tree that Joe removed in 2019.
Dawn ensures that the design is aligned with Yvonne's requests and gets ready to plant before mulching.
There is one more part to this story. Look for it in October when we declare this property finished! Thanks to our sponsors, Enliven Planters for supplying the beautiful flowers and evergreens that will frame Yvonne's oasis.
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