During the last year or so I have become more involved in caring for the garden.
In the past, I have always acknowledged that hubby knows what is going on and how to care for various things but it has begun to dawn on me that not only does a garden need constant care, he isn’t actually a “flowers and borders” kind of guy.
Show him a row of carrots or a line of tomato plants, even some baby butternuts I planted and he glows with excitement. Will he be weeding in amongst the borders? No. In fact when we first moved in, over 20 years ago, he planted bushes down both sides of the garden for privacy and that was that.
I would head out and stare at different bushes and wonder…..then I began to google.
Last year I made some unanimous decisions and one of them was to dig over and ultimately remove the “bonfire” pile which grew and shrank depending on the season but was at all times ugly and wasting space.
I set to and made a bigger veggie patch- much to his delight and then googled most of the plants that were growing in the garden and how to care for them. I went to garden centres, after reading up on soil conditions and what would grow and came back with plants I carefully dug in and watched over, watering them daily.
Sometimes I would disappear into a thicket for a couple of hours, the only indication of me being there were the tree-like weeds suddenly flying through the air to land on the dog waiting patiently on the lawn for me to finish whatever I was up to.
To me, a garden is something that is maintained. A weed is a plant that grows where you don’t want it to and the hubby has a fairly relaxed attitude towards both. I generally leave self-sown plants (weeds) alone unless they are “bully” plants- ones that swamp or choke others. These are pulled up.
I now creep out into the garden most days with my trusty secateurs and quietly snip away at plants, dead flowers and long trailing vines which if left, would swamp any other living thing. Hubby is not told. He would become anxious at the thought of me cutting back the massive, self-seeded buddleia at the bottom of the garden. It was left last year and grew to at least 9 feet high.
I perform my daily yoga pose of “downward facing dog” as I fold over the fencing around the strawberry patch to pick a good handful of delicious fruit- so satisfying.
I find dead-heading the rose arch and patting each new rose very soothing but climbing beyond rung number two on the ladder to reach the top of the honesuckle terrifying.
Looking out at the fairly tidy garden with each plant minding its own business, not encroaching on any other is very pleasing so I shall continue with my surreptitious snipping, watching over everything and patting the roses as I go past.