Fertilizing the marriage with gardening tools
My wife demanded I give her a better hose; she wouldn’t take “no” for an answer.
Had I gone against my first inclination of frugality when I bought our first hose, we would have been better served. I was unprepared for the myriad options, so I simply bought what was cheapest.
Ellen was happy with my selection until she saw the hose owned by our wealthy neighbors. That was when she got serious hose envy. The one I bought was your standard, 50-foot, low-end garden variety costing about 10 bucks.
Our neighbors, Sean and Jennifer, took out a loan and bought a firefighter-approved, high-volume, pliable, self-coiling baby that stretches to a good quarter mile and snaps back like a carpenter’s tape measure. Ellen wanted one of those.
Landscaping is God’s way of telling humans we have too much time and money. It is just another example of man’s determination to water and fertilize the whip that beats us.
When we moved into our new home, we were delighted that it included a pre-approved landscaped yard. The entire neighborhood, now green and attractive, was raised from the ashes of mining ruins.
Our home was built upon what once was a pile of dredge-rocks sparsely covered with small pine and sagebrush. The developer flattened the terrain, removed the huge boulders and covered the land with trees, plants and topsoil.
What once was a stark pile of stone is now a living and growing ecosystem, requiring very little water or maintenance.
It wasn’t long after we moved in that my bride decided we had too much time and cash. She hired a flora and fauna genius to evaluate our frontyard to see if it conformed to our native ecosystem and was harmonically feng shui.
Our consultant told us that our yard was incompatible with our chakras and not astrologically harmonic. Lucky for us, all it would take to fix it was money. Hearing Ellen and our landscape designer speak, I thought I was back in Catholic school. I hadn’t heard that much Latin bandied about since I stopped being an altar boy. It seems that every expensive plant and tree has a name from ancient Rome.
My mate and the landscaper decided our yard was guilty of unnatural herbage. Ellen explained that, to truly call our yard “indigenous,” we had to rip up the landscaping the home came with and cover our property with native species.
I at first thought she said “native feces,” which delighted me to no end. I decided that covering our lot with native manure would be affordable and convenient, with an added bonus of keeping the neighborhood kids from playing in our yard. Unfortunately “native species” are more expensive and harder to come by.
When I questioned the logic of replacing a yard – which was included in the price of our home – with one that cost money, my wife gave me some good news. I was told that since the summer was coming to an end and since all the plants we’d be buying from the nursery would soon be dead, they might be on sale.
My wife said the yard designer suggested we repopulate our yard with sage, pine, native plants and boulders. Rather then argue that it was expensive and unnecessary, I said, “OK.”
A few paychecks later, our yard looks like it did before the home was built, except it now needs to be weeded, watered (only temporarily) and loved.
We struck a deal. I’d pay for it if Ellen would make the plant, trees and sage feel at home. She agreed but went on the record by saying, “I can’t work with this hose.”
I went to our neighbors’ house to check out their hose and to find where they bought it. I have to admit, it has features my hose lacked, and it cost only a fraction of what we just paid for our house.
As I peck out this column, I can look out my window and watch Ellen working magic in our yard with her new hose. She wearing her recently purchased L.L. Bean rubber gardening boots and GoreTex weeding pants; she seems very content.
Our yard now looks just like it did before there was a home here. The sage has been replanted, native weeds are growing, well, like weeds, and even the dredge rocks are back in place.
Yes, it cost a little extra, but money is a small price to pay to have things the way they were before you improved them S
Jeffrey Bergeron, under the alias of “Biff America” can be seen on RSN television, heard on KOA radio, and read in several mountain publications. He lives in Breckenridge.
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