For the last five years, I have either been retired or a stay-at-home-Mom, although with teenagers without drivers licenses, there has been very little staying at home. I do freelance work for a little income and to keep my skills sharp (and will continue to do so).
As of this week, I am on the state payroll as an intermittent employee. I will be taking care of the gardens at the Gene Stratton Porter State Historic site in Rome City, Indiana. Gene called it her "Cabin in the Wildflower Woods" with over 100 acres of fields, woods and gardens along the shores of Sylvan Lake.
I will be working in the Formal Garden plus other beds throughout the site. [And with the site's small staff (well, they are really full-sized but there are few of them), I've already been told that I will be tapped for other things.] The "bones" of the formal garden are authentic, having been extricated from overgrowth about thirty years ago with the stones outlining the beds still in place and some of the arbor's wisteria still alive. With 35 beds in the formal garden, plus beds at the entrance to the site plus landscaping around the house, plus a water garden, I think I will be busy enough.
Even though this job is a small step up from being a volunteer, I am excited about the prospects. I can't wait to get my hands on the files to research the historic aspects of the garden to ensure there is integrity in the garden. The house and woods have been conserved, but a lot of modern plants have crept into the garden - primarily to please tourists who want to see something blooming no matter when they visit.