Erma Bombeck once wrote about crazy gardeners in Wit’s End. As I recall, she quipped about her “black thumb” versus her neighbor’s overwhelming affinity for plants. Despite my love for flowers and plants, I am not the best gardener and probably never will be.
I first began designing my garden and landscaping my house during a long illness. I began by researching common landscaping plants online and in books until I thought my head would explode. Next, I made piles of sketches from draft paper, mixing and matching various flowers, shrubs, and trees. In order to compare, I took my stack of sketches outside and studied my house, looking like a narcoleptic to the neighbors, as I stared at the ground below our windows for an uncomfortable period of time, and suddenly began writing furiously on my papers as I moved to a different part of the yard. You might have thought I was designing a bomb shelter.
Eventually, I had enough plans to talk my husband into going to the plant nursery with me. To his credit, he never gave me more than a few odd glances when my various papers flapped in the wind. And he was a good sport when despite all my plans, I inserted a last minute change for some gorgeous plant I had not yet come across in my countless hours of research.
He was an angel when, after we had bought the plants, he performed grueling manual labor to pull up massive tree roots there, dig a hole for that bush here, cut down that old, scraggly plant, weed, mow, remove old bushes with a pickaxe, and till the areas for landscaping. All while I sat in what we called my “director’s chair” (Driving us both crazy) and bossed, err…”helped” him. Looking back, I think we were nuts and went a bit overboard, but it was worth it! We now have a gorgeous garden and landscaping around our little “cottage”.
Then, yesterday, I saw a bunny…eating my plants!! I had a sudden empathy for Elmer Fudd and wanted to “kill the wabbit!”. I dashed outside to our small deck to scare it off, but it didn’t budge. So I did what any other rational gardener might do: I chased that rabbit all around my backyard, yelling and making odd, incomprehensible noises, and waving my arms. It finally popped itself through a hole in the fence and I bent down, yelling at the hole. Eventually, I stood up, smoothed my hair, straightened my shirt, and strutted back inside, satisfied with my work.
In hindsight, I’m glad we have a privacy fence.