Unauthorized clean up

The assistant gardener (my wife) has been home this week for spring break, and fortunately it’s been rainy until today when I came home to a trash can filled with a variety of clippings. I don’t dare dig deeper to see what’s beneath the ivies and periwinkle that she is always welcome to snip away at. In fact, I should not label her a gardener of any sort, assistant or otherwise, though I suppose she’s trying to be helpful.

Grecian windflowers (Anemone blanda) are scattered due to weeding that often mistakes them after flowers have faded.

No doubt, the vines strayed over paths since my wife last got around to this, and if pruning ivy off the stones is the worst she gets into, I’ll be relieved. Wandering through the garden I see little evidence of her butchery, which is rarely the case, so perhaps she wasn’t out for long, and did no serious damage on this seventy degree afternoon.

It should be no surprise that two people have differing visions of what the garden should be, and we do. I prefer a relaxed look with hostas and whatever else flopping over path stones, she does not. I prune nothing unless it’s dead, and don’t mind stepping over or around branches that stray. She prefers tidiness, I want flopping and straying.

Dorothy Wycoff pieris has grown over the edge of the walkway to the back deck. I must prune this carefully so my wife doesn’t. Select branches are pruned rather than sheared to maintain the natural form of the shrub.

My wife informs me that the new planting in the rear garden is horrible. I’ve removed too much lawn, and never mind that lawn isn’t much to look at, though it does make a nice contrast to planted areas. Truthfully, I’d remove all the lawn in this area below the koi pond except I’d have to lug stones down to make a path through the plantings. Grass is an inexpensive path, but besides the larger area over the septic field, I don’t see much use for it now that the kids are long gone. There are no ballgames, or hide and seek. And yes, my wife’s opinion does count, at least a little, so this is likely to be as far as I cut into this smaller area of lawn.

8 Comments Add yours

  1. bittster says:

    “The new planting in the rear garden is horrible”. i wonder if there is a hidden spousal support blog that we’re not aware of. These words sound awfully familiar, although the assistant gardener here rarely wanders into the garden and is unlikely to ever find her way to the control end of a pruning shear.

    1. Dave says:

      My wife continually threatens to write a counter blog.

  2. Carla says:

    My other half is male. I always thought it was the men who cherish the pristine lawn. Now I see it is the moniker “assistant” and not their gender that makes for such poor garden choices.

    1. Dave says:

      Yes, assistants must be watched. With forty years experience I have not been able to fire mine.

  3. Ruth says:

    Hi Dave! I love the running wife commentary; and although I agree with you about preferring the untidy look, I’m sure she’s just trying to be helpful! 💞😀💞. Lovely pictures as always! Thank you! Have a good weekend. 😀

  4. tonytomeo says:

    I used to grow that pieris. I hate seeing it shorn in landscapes. There are so many other plants that look good shorn, that is not one of them.

    1. Dave says:

      Even with pruning select branches I would rather leave it alone, but the alternative to have my wife prune to keep it off the path is unacceptable. I suggested that we allow the pieris to grow completely over the path. We could walk the long way around. Didn’t work.

      1. tonytomeo says:

        Many of our have plenty of space. Oddly, those that get pruned to provide cuttings somehow look pretty good most of the time, probably because of the way they are pruned. I have seen them shorn in the Northwest, and they really look worthless.

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