Monday, July 28, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Making a home for gnomes

DSCN2843

LAYING PAVERS are, left to right, Julien McAdams and Tom Krauss. Courtesy photo

By
From page A1 | October 18, 2013 |

With gnomes and fairies overseeing their work, staff from the local Home Depot showed up last month to help Pam Kaefer, 63, create a one-of-a-kind garden in her backyard over a three-day period.

A resident in a Shingle Springs mobile home park, Kaefer has worked for the last five months to turn her dirt and leaf-strewn backyard into an enchanted garden in the home she and her husband moved to in January.

However, the property was not without its challenges, including a backyard that is mostly all slope. Undaunted, Kaefer went to work carving out several terraces that she filled with potted plants, a fountain that spills into a pond, two gazebos, an assortment of bird feeders, and, of course, a small army of woodland gnomes and fairies.

Building the retaining walls and steps leading to the upper terrace required buying lots and lots of blocks at the local Home Depot, with each weighing around 50 pounds.

“I put in 200 blocks and bought another 100,” said Kaefer, who could only fit 10 at a time in her car. “I was down to the last 50 when I called the store and Vince Butera, the assistant manager at the Placerville store, answered the phone. I asked if he could set aside 10 blocks for me to pick up. He asked her how many were still owed to her and when he found out I could only transport 10 at a time, he offered to have the rest delivered. The Home Depot employee even carried them from the truck to my backyard.”

When she called Butera the next day to thank him, he asked her what else she planned to do. She told him of her plans, but said she had no way to get all the materials up the hill, including dirt, paving stones, decomposed granite, road base, sand and river rocks.

Butera then paid her a visit on his day off and looked around. “I could see how important it was to her and decided to get it done,” he said.

A few days later he called back to say they could help, adding that the store was always looking for community projects like hers. “We like to give back to the community and it evolved from there.”

That turned out to be welcomed news to Kaefer because she recently learned she had a serious heart problem that required extensive surgery. Her husband, Rick, also couldn’t do any heavy lifting because of back and hernia problems.

So on Sept. 10, Butera and a small crew from Home Depot arrived, including Rich Halla, Tom Krauss, Matt Richmond, Frank Villas and Julien McAdams. According to Kaefer, Butera arrived at 7:30 a.m. that first day, worked until noon, and then went back to Home Depot and closed the store at midnight.

“All of the Home Depot guys were pleasant, professional, hard-working and fun,” she said. “It wasn’t a big deal to them. They were just trying to help someone out.

“I thought they’d just get the stuff to the top of the hill. Instead they moved a horseshoe pit to the top of the hill, brought all the materials up, dug up all the ground and made it flat. Then they laid out the paths, loaded the road base and sand and last put in the pavers.

“They probably saved me six months of my time,” claimed Kaefer. “It’s amazing they did that.”

Butera said it was a team effort getting all the details worked out of what they needed. “The first day we did the demolition. The next day we laid the pavers and other materials. On the third day we did the finishing and clean-up work. She had a strong passion for the garden and we helped her make her dream come true.

“There was no other reason for doing it than giving back to the community,” said Butera, who noted that in the past crews from Home Depot have repainted and laid a floor at MORE in Placerville and are in the process of redoing a playground at a local school.

Kaefer said she planned to have a barbecue and invite the crew and their families to join them.

In September, all but one of the Home Depot workers was available for a group photo in Kaefer’s backyard during which they had another chance to admire their handiwork.

Department manager Matt Richmond looked around with satisfaction and said, “One of the core values of the company is to give back. This was a great effort.”

Contact Dawn Hodson at 530-344-5071 or dhodson@mtdemocrat.net. Follow @DHodsonMtDemo on Twitter.

Comments

comments

.

News

Sand Fire burns more than 4,000 acres

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Fatal accident in Camino

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
County’s chief lawyer: No Brown Act violation

By Chris Daley | From Page: A1

General Plan workshop today

By Chris Daley | From Page: A1

 
Two growth control initiatives get green light

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A1

Agricultural Crop and Livestock Report released

By Ross Branch | From Page: A3

 
35 people displaced in Tahoe hotel fire

By Tahoe Tribune | From Page: A3 | Gallery

.

Opinion

Bee-ing silly

By Mountain Democrat | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
The balancing act: Toxic waste spreads

By Larry Weitzman | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
.

Letters

Want more water?

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
Refugee crisis

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

Letter to Speaker of the House

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
GDPUD misinformation

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

At the crossroads

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
.

Sports

Camp experience is ‘priceless’

By Mike Bush | From Page: A6 | Gallery

 
Speedway races cancelled

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A6

El Dorado doubles up on Pro Players

By Mike Bush | From Page: A6 | Gallery

 
Under the Scoreboard: July 26, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A6

Schedule: July 28 – Aug. 2, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A6

 
Roundup: July 26, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A6

Sports Scene: July 26, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A7

 
Local spiker shines

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A7

.

Prospecting

A beautiful day at Wakamatsu Tea and Silk Colony Farm

By Cathy Barsotti | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Foothill gourmet: Things get corny

By Donna Brown | From Page: B2

Bipolar Insights: From point A to point B

By Marcia Rose | From Page: B2

 
Cool time at Cowboys and Cornbread

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
As we were: Recreation district grows

By Ken Deibert | From Page: B4

Cantare names new director

By Cantare Chorale | From Page: B10

 
After 5 Club to meet

By Senior Day | From Page: B10

.

Essentials

Divorces

By Charlotte Sanchez-Kosa | From Page: A2Comments are off for this post

 
DUI Log: June 25-July 9

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A2

Crime Log: July 14-16

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A2

 
.

Obituaries

.

Real Estate

.

Comics

Horoscope, Tuesday, July 29, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
Horoscope, Monday, July 28, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A8

Shoe

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
Sudoku

By Contributor | From Page: A8

Rubes

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
New York Times Crossword

By Contributor | From Page: A8

TV Listings

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
Speed Bump

By Contributor | From Page: A8

American Profile Crossword

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
Tundra

By Contributor | From Page: A8