Planting Joy

The following guest blog post is a story of kindness, care for our neighbors, and hope. Matt Mikesell, a long-time Bedner customer and friend, tells his story of a donated landscape project in our community last summer. Their hard work resulted in the joy and peace that a beautiful landscape can bring. It’s what we’re here for after all– to notice those in need around us and to step up and help. We’re thankful for people like Matt who do just that.

My son’s best friend was talking with me about his grandmother, who at the time, was battling Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and was receiving radiation treatments. He was telling me she had eight pine trees in her front yard that she had a bid of $4,500 to get them cut down, which was a ridiculous bid. In any case, I said to him, “Why don’t we cut them down ourselves,” me, my son John and his friend Dill.” After all, the three of us have cut many trees down for other people. 

At his request, we went over to his grandma’s house and looked at the job. Before Barbra came out, I spoke with Dill and John and suggested we do the job for free, but I wanted to hear what Barbra would say first. She introduced herself and proceeded to tell me how big of a deal it would be to have these trees taken down and also discussed the quote she was given. When she finished telling us all about her situation, I said to her, “The boys and I would like to do this job for you for free!” At first, I think she thought I was joking. Not only did I say we would cut all the trees down but would have everything cleaned up in a couple of days.

Two days later, we had eight; 60’ to 80’ pine trees, not only cut down, but also removed and the yard back in order, as if we were never there. As we finished up and walked around with Barbara, I could immediately see the joy in her eyes looking at this clean yard, as if saying, I have to do something with this space. She was so incredibly thankful to have the sun shining directly on her house again. Of course, Barbara would not allow us to do the job for free, so she and I agreed to only pay the boys. Those two sixteen-year-old boys were very excited and thankful to make some money!

A few weeks went by and I couldn’t stop thinking about Barbara and her situation, so I contacted my best friend Todd, who lives in York, Pa, and owns a landscape company there.  I am a teacher full-time but in the summers, I have been doing landscape for the past 15 years. I explained to Todd my situation with Barbra’s yard and asked him if he would be interested in donating a job for a great cause. Without hesitation, Todd not only was excited about the opportunity, but drove four hours  the following weekend to take measurements and pictures to draw up a plan for Barbra. No doubt, Barbara was taken aghast when we explained to her that we would like to donate a complete overhaul of her front yard. 

Barbara was very appreciative of the offer Todd and I gave her but respectfully declined because she wouldn’t allow us to work for free. I learned that she is a person who appreciates an honest day’s work and an honest day’s pay. Todd and I negotiated with her and in the end, we all agreed that Barbra could pay for materials but the four of us would provide all labor at no cost. 

As summer progressed, Todd and Barbara went back and forth with the plan and finally created what she envisioned for her front yard. We set a timeframe and due to schedules, decided it would be August after John, myself and Dill got back from our mission trip to Haiti. 

As time got near, we started to make plans and gather materials that were necessary. To create the raised beds we needed 25 ton of topsoil. This would have made things very difficult, considering our budget. However, we wanted to do this job as Barbra envisioned it. Therefore, I reached out to a few local connections. Getting the topsoil donated would save our budget by $1,100. As the stars aligned, we found a donor for the 25 tons of topsoil and they delivered it as well. What a blessing. 

Next, we were in need of plants, lots of them, and 15-20 yards of mulch to complete the work we set out to do. While I had no concerns of us getting the job done, we wanted to come under budget and bless Barbra with a front-yard makeover that she dreamt of. To be certain we got Barbara the best, I reached out to none other than Bedner’s Farm and Greenhouse

As a long-time customer and friend to Russ Bedner, I contacted him and explained the situation and the work we were doing. Immediately from the start, Russ was wanting to help in anyway he could. I shared Barbara’s situation with Russ and from there, the blessings flowed. 

To Bedner’s, our local landscape partner, I would like to take this opportunity to tell you how blessed we were with the donations you made to make Barbara’s landscape project a reality. Needless to say, Barbara was speechless when the job was completed. We could tell there was a sense of peace with the completion of this project for Barbara. 

Russ, you and your employees are always a pleasure to work with. Your were especially helpful with your willingness to provide plants with a significant discount or at cost to you. Your surprise donation of the 15 yards of mulch to complete the projects was an absolute blessing as well. Of course, at no cost to us, you graciously donated the use of one of your landscape dump trucks for us to haul all materials to the job site. 

To Bedner’s, thank you for rallying around us to help a community member in need and bless her with a front-yard makeover. Your kindness and generosity doesn’t go unnoticed. 

Philippians 4:19 states – And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. No doubt, every need was met through the generosity of JM, Russ, Todd, Smokey and Dill, thank you for your time, talents and generous hearts to get the job done. 

I have been a loyal customer at Bedner’s for the past 10 years. There is no doubt, they are the best in the business. For any of your landscape needs, I wouldn’t hesitate in saying, go and see the team at Bedner’s Farm and Greenhouse. Their team of experts will be able to answer any questions you may have regarding plants, gardens, water features or hardscaping. 

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