In the years leading up to 2019, Lane Harris saw the landscape around his home in Ithaca, NY, become overvalued. The weeds picked up the bed in the backyard. Woody bushes bombarded lilac bush. The fig tree was ill.
Since then, it has become a completely different picture. Weeds were removed, replacing banana plants, tomatoes, basil, thyme, marjoram, sage and sugar grains. The peons and lilies of the valley, once choked with weed growth, rejuvenate. New flowers were planted, among them Gomphren, Egretum, Pancis, and Cosmos.
What factors drove that change? Ms. Harris began dating Mark Earl Sorels, professor of plant breeding and genetics at Cornell University. In April 2020, when they moved in, Ms. Harris said, “They made my house a better place.”
Ms. Harris and Mr. Sorrell first met in a pub in Ithaca around the spring of 2016. Mr. Sorrell, whose commercial projects include the development of small grains for use in craft breweries, was there to taste New York-barley and beer brewed with hops. He remembers sitting in a corner of the pub, reading to himself. Ms. Harris, who was in the pub with a friend, saw her.
“He seemed very solitary,” Ms. Harris said. “I knew there was more.”
He introduced himself. They talked for a while. They became acquainted.
In the years that followed, the two crossed paths in Ithaca, talking whenever they saw each other. At one point, Ms. Harris mentions to Mr. Sorrell that she had a taste for the bud – she crisps the leaves in the oven to make the bud chips. Shortly thereafter, Mr. Sorels showed up from his garden with a leafy bushel at his door. That’s when the nature of their relationship began to change – “Kel Kind brought us together,” Mr. Sorrell said. It was the first time that they were alone together anywhere.
In Fall 2019, Ms. Harris asked Mr. Sorrell on a date. He ate at an Italian restaurant that was Halloween. In January, they had their first kiss. By April, Mr. Sorrell had moved in with Ms. Lane. He started looking at the garden.
Ms. Lane, 53, and Mr. Sorrell, 70, were married on February 14 in a white pontoon boat on the Indian River in Vero Beach, Fla., Where the bride has spent her winters for the past 20 years. Robin G. conducts his ceremony. Was done by Patton, a friend of the couple who was ordained by the American Marriage Ministries.
Before the ceremony began, Ms. Lane was standing at the dock waiting for Mr. Sorrell, who was already on the boat. When he arrived to pick her up, he had a recording of Miles Davis playing “Someday my Prince Will Come” from a Bluetooth speaker on the deck. It was as if Mr. Sorrell was throwing him away on a white horse, Ms. Lane explained, “but it was in a white boat.”
Ms. Lane created her own bridal bouquet for the occasion, using the flowers of Calla Lily from the plants that she and Mr. Sorrell exited a Publix supermarket. After the ceremony, Ms. Lane and Mr. Sorrells take him back to Ithaca. They intend to plant bulbs in their garden.