He Said - by Blaine Staat
I’m just full of good advice. Here’s some for all of you eligible young bachelors: Before you get married, make sure that you take a real close look at those vows your blushing bride will be making to you, and if, along with the “to have and to hold’s” and the “for richer & for poorer’s”, you don’t see the words “promise to keep my little grub-hooks off your yard”, make sure that you get them added in before she starts walking down the aisle.
I know, I know, you would think that that concept is simply implied along with all the other words about her “love” and her “devotion” and all that other jazz. Any reasonable man would. But alas, my friend, we’re not talking about “reason”, we’re talking about “woman”, and once your new bride is done throwing all of your stuff out of the house (a blindingly fast process in it’s own right) she will soon move into your domain. The backyard.
Last year Catherine planted – and this is absolutely no exaggeration – exactly 4,723 “things” in the yard. As if that’s not bad enough, let me also fill you in on what I must assume is her “landscape planning procedure”, which is basically to walk around aimlessly before suddenly thinking “Oh, this looks like a good spot for something”, at which point the evil dagger of her shovel bludgeons it’s way through my pristine lawn so that some sickly thing that looks like a dead stick can try to take root.
Oh! And does she get all snippy with me when I tell her very nicely to take her shoes off and get back in the kitchen? You know it brother! All tears, and boo-hoo-hoo, and “you’re so mean to me, I was only trying to make our yard look nice”. Did I shed a tear when she took down my vintage Farrah-Fawcett poster - framed, no less – from our bedroom wall and gave it to Goodwill? Okay, okay, maybe that’s not a real good example, but still . . . you know what I mean.
I don’t think it’s too much to ask of her to just leave my yard alone, especially when you consider how much I do for her. I mean, if I see garbage overflowing from the trash can onto the kitchen floor, do I not take it out? You betcha I do. Almost every single time. And do I not put most of my dirty clothes in the laundry hamper? Hello! Yes. And do I not rinse out my dishes before I stack them on the counter simply to make it easier for her to load the dishwasher?
Yup. Yup, yup, yup.
What women don’t seem to realize is that whenever something is placed in the yard, you must then mow around it. This takes effort, which is why I usually just push the mower straight over it instead. It’s not a personal attack, it doesn’t mean I don’t love you, and yes, I’m sure that whatever it was that you planted would have been beautiful had I let it live, but it was just easier not to.
Sometimes a man has to take a stand. That’s why I do hereby boldly proclaim to the world that my yard belongs to me and ME ONLY! It’s mine, d’ya hear? Mine! Mine! Mine! I don’t care what you want to plant; I’m not going to do it. Don’t wanna, ain’t gonna, can’t make me. So there.
Now quit acting like a big baby and just accept it.
There, that wasn’t so hard, was it? All that’s left to do now is to let Catherine know where I stand on this issue, and as soon as she comes home from the grocery store, I’m going to tell her the exact same thing. You just better believe I will too. Pretty soon after she gets back. Maybe after dinner.
She Said - by Catherine Staat
Well! I think that 4,723 “things” is a slight exaggeration, but okay, I’ll go with that for just a moment (some advice for soon-to-be brides: we sometimes let our guys think the way they want to, but only temporarily mind you!). When we moved here to Kentucky, I was so very excited at the prospects of what we would be able to grow; having the opportunity to plant my absolute favorites (and I’m sure Blaine’s as well once he sees just how much they please his loving and devoted wife) in a garden that was not possible to have living in the central part of Florida.
Learning what will grow here as opposed to Florida has been a learning lesson, and, as with the inside of my home, I wish the outside to also reflect who we are as a family. Much care is taken in the planning of one’s garden, or what I like to call my own personal “Claude Monet's garden at Giverny” or “Jefferson's Monticello: The West Lawn”. Since these beautiful gardens are not a hop, skip and a jump from us here, I will try and bring a little bit of them right into my…err…our backyard.
~Sigh~ I think of how things can possibly look one day when we will be able to sit back and enjoy the view and really appreciate all 4,723 things that we so carefully and lovingly planted. And to my wide eyed and green behind the ears young bachelor friends…my husband does enjoy our Monticello “West Lawn in the making”, and not only that, but also the compliments we have received in how the yard is shaping up.
As gardeners, we need to carefully consider the amount of sunlight each individual plant requires along with soil properties, and if they like their feet (roots) wet or dry. Is this plant suited for the intense heat of the afternoon sun, or would it be better planted elsewhere to give it shade and protection? Do we not show this very same consideration for our husbands in caring for them and their needs as well? Absolutely! We wouldn’t just throw them a plate of food without giving some consideration to his needs and requirements! Aimless wandering? Oh no, no!
Another consideration - and one that a wife does need to be tuned in to - is the mowing of the lawn; specifically, whether or not the plants you have lovingly laid into the soil will be mowed over by a husband who is really only thinking of getting the yard work done in time to watch “the game” at 1 p.m.! I have lost many a precious plant due to this so called “mishap”. Did Blaine really not realize that the rare bulb sprouting up from the ground - or the hard to start & grow Clematis vine that was so heinously attacked by the weed whacker - were actually not weeds at all? Mishap?
Ohhhh, I think not! In fact, most of those 4,723 things that my husband - who loves and is as devoted to me as I am to him - mentioned earlier are actually re-plantings of the very things that he mowed over and weed whacked away in the first place, despite my attempts to mark them with bright red and yellow tags. And that “dead looking stick” that he is so quick to assume is not alive will soon grow into a beautiful River Birch Tree that will grace our yard with years of beauty and much needed shade.
So you see, I do give great consideration for Blaine and his soon-to-be beautiful domain. I would never think of taking over this area with my…what was that again? Little grub-hooks? Would these be the same “little grub-hooks” that so lovingly and devotedly take care of you?! Hmmm…