My feelings toward gardening are deeply, deeply engrained. My parent’s idea of “landscaping” was to mow over any garden areas until they were just grass. And by grass I mean weeds that vaguely resemble a lawn. They have now moved to Texas where people are encouraged to have “dry landscapes”.
(A short story to illustrate my point) When we were first married, my husband, having spent many of his developing years with a large garden and canning expert mother, was determined to help out my gardening deprived family. He actually planted a garden in the dirt spot my parents had set apart as a “garden area”. As we came to visit often, he realized he was also in charge of weeding and caring for said garden. The next year, my parents planted a huge shed that completely covered the garden area and my husband took the hint.
I suppose it is needless to say (but I still will), Peter has always been in charge of our landscape and garden. I don’t think I have ever used our lawn mower. Like I said, no desire. Not even a spark of interest. This leads us to our present situation.
We leased our house from a former gardener. The yard is full of little (and sometimes big) gardening areas. If you don’t believe me, look here- there are pictures of the yard scattered in the other house photos. And it has been a few years since the owners have been up to the task of keeping up with said garden. Translation: there is a lot of work to be done in the yard. This move correlated with Peter working CRAZY hours. Translation: unless he stops requiring even a little sleep, there is no time for him to garden.
At first this didn’t bother me. Like I said, I don’t care. But the weeds were beginning to interfere with my view of the ocean. We’re talking taller than my youngest children (and in some cases my older children, too). For several weeks I tried living in denial. When Peter has some free time, he’ll get to it. I wouldn’t want to take away his joy in gardening, right? But, alas, I have now realized that Peter has less “free time” than even I. And when he does, he is more interested in exciting things like paying the bills or that sleep thing I mentioned. So if I don’t want the kids swallowed in a jungle of milk weeds, I was going to have to tackle the landscaping on my own.
(Another illustrative short story) In our first house, in a moment of insanity, I decided to weed out this tiny patch beside our backdoor. When I was finished my horrified neighbor came over to tell me I had just pulled out all the strawberry plants. I have no way of discerning plants from weeds. Never-the-less, I have decided to try my hand again. I pull anything too tall, thorny, or grassy looking. If it comes out too easily, I assume I have pulled a “real” flower and try to avoid pulling more plants that look the same.
And I still hate gardening: I hate sweating (which explains my related issue with exercising), I hate getting dirty, and I hate kneeling and pulling and hurting my back. But I like my view and I dislike prickly thorns and most days I don’t want my kids swallowed in a jungle. So I have been going out to garden every day. Maybe when Peter sees my “progress”, he will decide to find some free time SOMEWHERE and take over the duties. Otherwise, I am going to start seeing if I can feasibly grow mowable grass in raised planter boxes.
PS- When I was looking at the pictures of the house, I saw that the weeds and flowers had yet to appear in the yard. Here is an example of what it looks like now (I already pulled a lot of the really tall plants- if you look close you can see a pile of milk weed plants waiting to be put into a bag- but you'll get the idea)