My husband Jim has a great blog, Visionary Gleam. When he started this endeavor, he described it as a blog about school leadership and his relatively new hobby of gardening. Since then, the school component has taken a backseat to the gardening posts. And that’s OK, because topics and interests evolve over time – for instance, this one was supposed to be about learning and/or doing something new everyday, and lately I’ve only loosely stuck to that theme.
Jim talks a lot about “Barbara’s garden”, Barbara being the master gardener who owned our house before we bought it two years ago. You will notice that it is never “Barbara and Walter’s garden”, even though Walter lived here too. That’s because Walter, presumably, had little to do with the actual daily gardening tasks, although he did create many of the structures and planters, and even the tomato stands in his woodworking shop. And in that way, I also think of most everything that lies outside our walls as “Jim’s”. Like Walter, I have very little to do with the landscaping and gardening—be it planning or day-to-day maintenance, but I have added some touches here & there.
I occasionally go along to the gardening store and like a kid who’s been dragged to the mall I might get to pick out something I like, usually based on a sound and educated gardening premise such as, “I like purple” or “that smells good,” but mostly I wander around with glassy eyes wondering if we’ll get ice cream afterward if I’m patient. I enjoy the beauty, but the incredible amount of work that goes into gardening is just not my cup of tea and I don’t find myself reading up on plants or even remembering their names, much less what zone they prefer. I am not joking when I say that if, God forbid, anything were to ever happen to Jim where he could not maintain the gardens, I would have to get rid of them in one way or another. Even Barbara knew that for many folks the enjoyment of looking at the gardens was quite different than the responsibility of owning it, and when the house was for sale she offered to fill in some of the beds with sod if the new owners preferred.
Recently Jim did a series of posts about the Top-20 things he hates about Barbara’s garden. They were all pretty amusing and true. But it also got me thinking about the things I hate about “Barbara and Jim’s Garden”. Its a different list and that’s where this post was originally going. But then I realized it would be rude if I jumped into my garden complaints without first giving credit for the things I do like. So I will start with the nice things.