Archive for the ‘Nestor the gardener’ Category

How to get a head in life

Friday, September 2nd, 2011

By Tiber

A neighbor actually returned something we had lost in the flooding. It was the topiary in a pot that Nestor, our gardener, had trimmed to look like Dad‘s face and head.

 It doesn’t look much like Dad now.

Of course, Dad never recognized himself in it anyway. Afraid that Nestor might be let go in the financial pinch, Mrs. Brunty, our ever-wise housekeeper, had suggested cutting a topiary to look like Dad.

She didn’t think that Dad would recognize himself in it but that he’d fall in love with Nestor’s work because of a subconscious connection to his own head. And then he wouldn’t fire him. And she was right!

Dad is crazy about that topiary, the “art” one, he calls it.

And now, with it so damaged, he was so afraid that Nestor would not be able to remember such an original piece and be able to reproduce his masterpiece exactly.

Nestor, of course, just took another quick look at Dad’s head and has whipped out another one.

We all get a laugh. Dad is thrilled. And I don’t think Nestor will ever be fired now. Even if the house goes.

Don’t crush your crush

Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

By Tiber

Ever since Dad has been trying to cut down on expenses, he’s ended up with more people living here than ever before.

Cook’s sister, Saskia, hit her own hard times and Cook asked Dad if she could live out in the gatehouse. Dad said yes but Saskia, for some reason, can never remember who he is. And whenever he drives in, she’s always confronting him, yelling, “Halt! Who goes there?!?”

Both Saskia and Cook are really tall and powerful women and with Cook already intimidating Dad inside the house, having Saskia leap at him outside has made him feel that he’s now living in some “Amazons Attack!” B-movie.

Last night, though, Saskia did not fly out of the gatehouse.

Dad did hear the back window opening.

And then, in the fading light, he saw Nestor, the gardener, scurry away across the grounds.

Nestor has been staying over in the staff wing since he got a divorce but evidently, he’s not over in the staff wing all the time.

Love may be in the air. Love may be in the eye of the beholder and clearly, love may now be in the gatehouse.

In the challenging world that we live in, I support any couple hooking up as much as the next person.

It’s just that Nestor, while pretty strong, is also pretty tiny. And Saskia is so big, she could comfortably wear a pair of moose as earrings and they’d never touch the ground.

So while some couples may look like models and some couples may look like each other, every time I think of Nestor standing next to Saskia, the only image I can think of  is that of a point one.

Mummy on a stick

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011

By Tiber

Last year, on May Day, my sister Iris Nell built a maypole with streamers for the triplets to dance around.

I’m pretty sure this goes back to some pagan custom but then again, no one would be surprised to find more than one Druid in the old family tree.

Anyway, last May Day, I looked outside and was admiring the blue sky, the green plants, the mummy on a stick, the birds in the- wait, go back. We hadn’t had a mummy on a stick in the yard before and I didn’t think we’d ordered one.

It turned out the triplets had conned Iris Nell into climbing up the maypole. As I said then, it’s not that hard to get my sister to do anything. (“Look, Aunt Iris Nell! There’s a bug up there! And I think it’s in trouble!”)

Once they had my sister up there, the kids raced around so fast with the streamers that before she could get away, they had Iris Nell lashed to the maypole like a mummy on a stick.

When the kids wanted a maypole this year, Mom agreed but only on the explicit condition that they not wrap their aunt up in it.

So they just wrapped up Nestor, the gardener, instead.

We all flew outside and barely managed to save him. And even then, he said it was always important to have patience with the children.

Well, sure. That and an escape route.

Let’s not kid ourselves. We’re all grateful that the triplets came fully assembled but compared to them, there is no tech item, furniture piece or appliance that has ever been in more acute need of an instruction manual.

What the Topiaries Told: Tales of the Garden Gomorrah

Sunday, October 10th, 2010

By Tiber

Our head gardener Nestor’s marriage has fallen apart. Dad doesn’t always know everything about the personal lives of the people who work for him but this was one episode everybody heard about.

Nestor went home early one day last week and joined his wife, who was napping in bed. Unfortunately, someone else had also been “napping” with her and, in one of the worst escapes ever, was still on the bed, hiding in the rolled-up comforter at the foot of it.

Nestor got into bed too to kiss his wife and his foot slid underneath this same comforter.

With said foot about to slam a sensitive area, the man instinctively grabbed Nestor’s toe. Since Nestor had once accidentally transported a garden snake home in his pants, he panicked and tried to kick the comforter onto the floor.

Most snakes – thankfully – don’t weigh 180 lbs. however, so Nestor halted instantly and then he began pounding the comforter with a table lamp.

The other man may have gone to work with a broken bone but Nestor came here the next day with a broken heart.

My mother saw the topiaries and almost collapsed..

They had all been re-cut. They had really been re-cut. We now had panda on parakeet, bear booty-calling bat, turtle tapping tiger. It was garden Gomorrah.

Dad said Nestor’s broken marriage or no, we couldn’t have this. It would upset the kids. Hell, it disturbed him.

So Nestor reshaped the topiaries back to a smaller version of what they’d been before – except for one. Erin texted me that Nestor may not be grieving as much now but instead is moving into the anger phase which, technically, is probably healthier. 

Still, he’s going to have to re-cut his most recent topiary handiwork too. Dad was walking the grounds and he actually ducked – because now the giraffe appears to be peering over the garden wall. Not only that, but now he’s wielding a large ax.

Is that plant staring at me?

Saturday, January 9th, 2010

By Tiber

It‘s been said, that there are certain people, who, just by walking into a room, make everybody else feel better. My parents‘ housekeeper, Mrs. Brunty, is one of those people. Even though she‘s white and a woman, in a movie, she’d be played by Morgan Freeman.

My father may think he runs things around here but we all know it‘s really Mrs. Brunty.

And now, she has succeeded with an idea to keep part of the staff employed, even during Dad’s financial setbacks, by convincing Nestor, the head gardener, to recut one of his prized topiaries into the shape of Dad’s head. Mrs. Brunty figured Dad probably wouldn’t recognize his face in a topiary at all but on a subconscious level, he’d just really like Nestor’s work. And this turned out to be true, once they got past an initial misunderstanding.

“I know it’s cold out there but I have an idea for you, Nestor, about recutting your toilet bowl brush topiary.” Nestor, understandably, looked momentarily blank.

“…Uh…do you mean my giraffe?”

“…Oh! Well, that does make more sense. Yes! Your very attractive giraffe.” Mrs. Brunty then went on to explain her plan and Nestor, not having any better ideas, went ahead and trimmed down the topiary to look like Dad’s head.

And it worked. Dad came by and was instantly hooked.

“Nestor! This new topiary is great!” I like this one much better than your old toilet bowl brush.”

Nestor sighed, “That was a giraffe, sir.”

“Oh!…Well, that does make more sense. Anyway, this one is much more handsome! I don’t even know what it is. I just like it!…For some reason, it makes me feel good!  I’ve got to hand it to you guys. You’re working harder now than ever.”

“Thank you, sir,” Nestor beamed.

And when Dad wandered off, Nestor knew that his job is safe for now.