Always growing like weeds

So I just spent maybe eight minutes weeding an area outside my front door and I deeply resent that time as eight minutes of my life that I will never get back.

Far from being moved by the beauty of nature, I am annoyed at the tenacious nature of nature. I just cleared those weeds LAST month. I shouldn’t have to do a darned thing with them accept gasp in admiration at their pristine beauty until at least NEXT year.

Anything else is unacceptable.

Feelings

It’s not that I hate nature. I love nature, in my own way. By this I mean I like it trimmed, tamed and arranged outside my door in pleasing patterns. These are preferably patterns that have been completely untouched by my hands.

This isn’t to say that I’m one of those babyish princess types who doesn’t like to get dirty. Need to clean out a basement? Scrape paint? Carry stuff from one side of the barn to the other in preparation for moving everything back to the opposite side next year? (Oh is that just us?) I’m your girl.

Gardening

I just really do not like gardening. I think gardening is like exercise. People either love it or hate it — there is rarely any middle ground. If there is, it’s probably covered in weeds.

I once explained to a helpful-turned-helpless greenhouse assistant that what I was looking for was a plant that could survive in full shade, full sun or some combination in between. It would be colorful and lush, bloom from May through mid-October, and require little water and absolutely no “dead heading.” The only thing I want to pinch around here is my cute husband.

To this the wide-eyed greenhouse associate replied, “Have you considered PLASTIC lady?” Yes, I have. It melted on the deck.

My problem is that the time and money I am willing to dedicate to gardening is about $5 and five minutes, whichever comes first. I love the LOOK of beautiful landscaping but I resent every second of the expense and effort to get there.

Regret

I am still having buyer’s remorse over plants from a month ago. $77 for five plants? You’ve got to be kidding me. I feel like they should pay me to take them. They’re WORK. I should get a stipend or something just for keeping them alive.

I often say that if I could afford to pay someone to do only ONE set of chores I would happily continue to scrub my own toilets if I could just get someone to take over my landscaping. Of course I’m too darned cheap to do anything of the sort.

Not to mention that my neighbors are the most productive human beings on the face of the earth. They garden something like 19 acres (not an exaggeration) BY HAND. Eleven children working and giggling and gamboling around growing things. They make it look like so much fun, it’s a regular Hallmark movie out there.

If I did hire lawn care I’d have them sneak in around the back. I could never face the neighbors knowing I pay someone to do what their three-year-old does for free.

Mulch

This is not to say that we are completely incapable of gussying up the place. We put some bushes around the pool but that’s mostly to keep the children from leaping over the side.

I designed an area of mulch and rocks and called it a bed. “Of what?” Mr. Wonderful asked, confused at the blank canvas appearance. “Mulch!” I said proudly.

One year I sprung for the RED mulch. So colorful I felt fancy. The next year I opted for brown mulch again. The red was too high maintenance for me. It faded.

Meanwhile, as I’m whining — and not winning — my war on weeds, I’m told that there are methods one can undertake to better combat them. Plastic and pesticides are popular choices.

For my little patch of ground, however, I have no need for better living through landscape chemicals. I’d rather just kill weeds with my evil stare.

About the Author

Warm, witty and just a wee bit warped, Kymberly Foster Seabolt is a native of Kent, Ohio, who survived childhood exposure to disco and grew up to marry and move to the country. Her column weaves her special brand of humor with poignant, entertaining, and honest portrayals of parenting, marriage, and real life. She currently lives in northeastern Ohio with her husband, two children, two dogs, two cats, and numerous dust bunnies who wish to remain nameless. More Stories by Kymberly Foster Seabolt

3 Comments

  1. texwisgirl says:

    too funny. loved the description of the neighbors gardening 19 acres by hand with multitudes of laughing children. :)

  2. Susan S says:

    Ha! I love gardening IN THEORY. I really love shopping for plants because at that point I am still optimistic that this is the year I will keep our yard beautiful. By mid June, I’m praying for an early frost so I can give it up.

  3. Landscaping Ohio says:

    Maybe you could hire a landscaper if you don’t like gardening? Often landscapers are affordable and they can do a beautiful job in a short amount of time.

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