Continued from last week . . .
After meeting Patrick and Sheila — a couple who shared an enthusiastic passion for gardening — I could see straight away that hubby Darcy and I were missing out on something wonderful.
“The couple that grows together stays together,” I told Darcy as I herded him past the tools and automotive parts and into the seasonal section of Canadian Tire. My plan was to introduce the whole gardening thing as gradually and pleasantly as possible. Associating plants with shiny new wrenches and all season radials couldn’t hurt.
“Just look at all these plants! Which ones do you like?” I asked.
“They all look nice. Let’s get some green ones and then go have lunch.”
“OK, we need something to fill in the flower garden; something to give the garden some bones. What do you think?” I picked up a Diablo Nine Barks and spun it around.
“It’s OK I guess. If you like brown leaves.”
“They’re burgundy. And I do like them. I like them a lot.”
“These orange and yellow flowers aren’t too bad.”
“But ours is more of a pink and blue garden. A cottage garden.”
“Well, I think a few orange and yellow flowers will liven things up.” Darcy plunked two containers of lilies into the cart. I put the Diablo Nine Barks in beside them. Darcy picked up a topiary tree that had been tortured into looking like something out of a Dr. Suess book. “This is kind of cool. And I like the leaves. They’re green. They look natural.” He looked meaningfully at the Diablo.
“Natural! How can you say that tree looks natural? When have you ever seen a tree in the forest shaped like that?”
“Well, I like it.” He pushed it into the cart, knocking the Diablo onto its side. “We can put my stuff in the herb and wildflower garden. “
“But what about the herbs and wildflowers?”
“There are all kinds of wildflowers already growing around the place and you can put the herbs in with the vegetables. Hey! Let’s get these wind chimes. And look at this. A plastic dome that shoots out butterfly shaped lights at night. How cool is that?”
“It’s not cool. It’s tacky. How can we enjoy the garden when we’ve got a bunch of strobe lights flashing in our face?”
“They’re butterfly shaped. You like butterflies.”
“I like real butterflies.”
“So pretend they’re real.”
“How can I do that? Butterflies don’t fly at night and they don’t glow.”
“So pretend they’re moths. Or lightening bugs. Or very special butterflies that only visit our garden.”
“Fine. But no wind chimes.”
“What? You think wind chimes are tacky too?”
“No. They’re beautiful. It’s just that wind chimes give me a headache. The garden is supposed to be a natural oasis.
“A peaceful retreat. How are we supposed to relax and listen to the birds with wind chimes jangling away in the background the whole time?”
I was getting a headache without the wind chimes. I fondly recalled when I used to have total control of the gardens and everything that went in them. It seemed like only yesterday.
Then I realized that was because it was only yesterday. It probably says all kinds of ugly things about my character, but I realized I liked having dictatorship in my garden.
I liked having one space in my life where I didn’t have to make compromises.
“How about we put back my orange and yellow flowers, the nice natural green tree and the cool butterfly strobe lights and in return you forget about us gardening together?”
“You’d do that for me?” I asked. “You’re the best husband in the world.”
“Don’t mention it.” Darcy said. “Now let’s go have lunch.”
Phew. That was a squeaker. Whoever said be careful what you wish for sure knew what they were talking about.
Shannon McKinnon is a humour columnist from the Peace River country. You can read past columns online at shannonmckinnon.com