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Design From stone walls to super highways, A name you can build with... PETER LEVI PLUMBING YOUR LOCAL PLUMBER! CUSTOMER C O + GARDEN ANNIE SPIEGELMAN H H O M E A Full Service Contractor for All Your Private & Public Sitework Needs s'RADING %XCAVATION 0AVING $EMOLITION 3LIDE2EPAIR 3OIL3TABILIZATION s3ITE#ONCRETE We beg your pardon, but you DID promise us a rose garden... The constant gardeners Life literally a bed of roses for Aldersly green thumbs by Annie Spie ge lman T his month Aldersly, the San Rafael retirement community founded in 1921 by Danish immigrants, is celebrating its 88th birthday. I decided to visit with four Aldersly residents who are fellow dirt divas. All of them have tinkered around with soil and plants throughout various stages of their lives. I asked the retirees if they wanted to celebrate the Aldersly anniversary by partying all night in the rose garden and then heading to the beach to watch the sunrise. “C’mon, we’ll make off with the company van. I’ll have you back in time for bocce ball, I promise!” Instead, they invited me in at 11am for gourmet coffee, fancy pound cake and a garden tour of the campus. Each resident has a private patio or a small patch of turf to call his or her own. There’s also a communal greenhouse where the residents grow plants to sell at their annual Danishthemed Tivoli Festival. “In the beginning years here at Aldersly, the landscape was more spread out with fewer buildings,” says Edward Ferroni, lead gardener, who has been watching over this 3-1/2 acre property for the last 25 years. “The staff was small and residents worked in the garden growing their own vegetables and tending their plants.” Today the staff does the greater part of the garden work while residents grow mostly container plantings. The property has two magnificent 90-yearold cedars at its center, a rose garden with over 50 roses and a plethora of 40-year-old liquidambars, eucalyptus, spruce and elm trees spread out around the campus. Outside of Ferroni’s shed-office, nestled under a canopy of trees (an area referred to as “Edwardland”), I met with these four botanical broads to ask them about their love of gardening. Dirt Diva #1: Kay Corlett Kay Corlett, who is now in the environmentalforum class studying sustainable environments, has gardened in San Anselmo for 45 years. “Our gardening guru was Ernie Munson who was at Sunnyside Nursery. He would come have lunch with us and he would joke about all the plants being his age: old! He was a knowledgeable horticulturist, teacher and friend,” says Kay. Favorite thing to grow: Vegetables, especially tomatoes. Gardening goals: “To get rid of some of the lawn here on campus and plant vegetables. And, to get Marinites to compost! We should be light-years ahead of San Francisco and instead we’re adding more and more to our landfills. If I can work a compost pile at my age, anyone can!” Dirt Diva #2: Ann Krase Ann Krase first gardened at a 100-year-old farmhouse in Ohio and then lived in Los Angeles for 30 years before heading north. “When my husband and I retired we wanted to leave the heat and move somewhere cooler but we didn’t want to shovel any snow! We chose Mendocino,” says Ann. “ We lived in a redwood forest on a hill, looking out at a meadow and the ocean. It was glorious.” Favorite thing to grow: “The gophers ate everything so we decided to build raised beds on the huge deck and grow plants and food up there. Raised beds are so much better because you don’t have to bend over so much! They were wonderful. You can even pull weeds without much bending. That’s a necessity at our age!” 415 R NER UÊ,i«>ˆÀà UÊ,i“œ`iÃ UÊ iÜÊ œ˜ÃÌÀÕV̈œ˜ 454-7771 Bonded • Insured • Lic #687489 #URB 'UTTER 3IDEWALK 0ATIOS $RIVEWAYS s5NDERGROUND5TILITIES 3EWER 7ATER 3TORM$RAIN *OINT4RENCH Contact Ralph Ardito for a Free Estimate 256-1530 or 256-1525 “Lateef was very professional & followed instructions the best I’ve seen.” —J.R. 7 8 Providing Great Care & Attention to the ONE Tree We are Working on at that Moment BEST TREE CARE SERVICE 3 Years in a Row! Serving Marin County for 20 Years 455-9933 WWW.MARINTREEMASTERS.COM Tad Jacobs, Owner Certified Arborist 8281 Mike Queirolo, Certified Arborist 8291 Uriel Barron, Certified Arborist 1328 DECEMBER 11 – DECEMBER 17, 2009 PACIFIC SUN 21

Pacific Sun 12.11.2009 - Section 2

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