The Gardening Monster: A True Story
The Gardening Monster: A True Story
I stood at the patio door, the cool breeze gently blowing across the greenery in my yard. I watched the stems bend and spring back to their upright position. I was mesmerized by the way they all seemed to move in unison, as if they were all dancing to the same beat of a song. The entire yard was alive and seemed to be enjoying the beauty of the day. I watched and found the old familiar feeling rising up throughout my entire body, slowly…slowly, no, not again….horror! Yes, there it was, unavoidable on this particular day. I could no longer hide behind the safety of the floral, crème colored curtain, which had effectively served as a protective barrier against the outside nightmare.The picture that currently kept me frozen from movement was a garden full of low amaranth, southern brass buttons, bermuda grass, in other words, weeds! Oh, I did have three fern trees that had spread their way across the wall as if they too were trying to escape the confines of their dismal existence. My husband had strategically placed bricks around the ferns, more in an attempt to cover the weeds than to create the look of a planter. The persistent weeds however, were trying to push their way out of the suffocating, sunless, cramped covering that was forced upon them. Something drastic had to be done! I was running out of time.My son and step-daughter were graduating from high school in less than two weeks and we were having about a hundred people over our house. I usually put together the famous “honey do" list, which is generally given to my husband in the sweet, loving, in other words…manipulative way that only a wife can do. Today was different, I didn’t feel particularly sweet or loving, the feelings were…mad, frantic, anxious, and just plain frustrated. I did what every normal woman would do, I freaked out. I began screaming frantically, in a high pitched, borderline crazed lunatic, being put in a straightjacket tone. Yes…I went a little overboard but I had been asking my husband to fix the yard for about a month. Time was running out and so was my patience.So began the creation of what I now refer to as, the gardening monster. He took three days off of work to get the job done. He decided to really stick it to me for my outburst. He said he was going to design a backyard masterpiece. Which I thought, go ahead, how will that affect me negatively? Little did I know that the “masterpiece" would change my entire life as I knew it and not in a positive way.The transformation began with a full day of removing the entire weed garden. He then chose a wide array of palms, the king, kentia, bamboo, queen and sago. The beginning of the tropical environment was starting to take shape. The bright red, orange, yellow, and purple tropical flowers were then added in as fillers, anthuriums, heleconia, torch ginger and my personal favorite, orchids. The colors were like a bright sunset setting over a Hawaiian waterfall. They each seemed to be glowing and illuminating their light on the entire yard. The warmth that they radiated made you feel as if you were on a tropical oasis vacation. The carefree, relaxed, calm and peacefulness of my new retreat was refreshing. I had to wonder if that was the emotion that he was trying to invoke on my behalf?My excitement began to take shape in the form of my own desire to create something beautiful. I decided to get a large pot for the front of the house and pick out all of my own plants. I chose a sago palm as the centerpiece, and then surrounded it with a wide assortment of flowers. When I was done, my husband even complimented my “creation". How satisfying a beautiful yard can make you feel!Long after the graduation party, that was a complete success, due in part to my new tropical heaven. My husband took it to the next level, he became obsessed. Everyday he would go outside and if he didn’t have something new to plant, then he would rearrange the ones that he already had! Okay, this was getting out of hand. He was like a maniac, we all had to go outside and praise him for whatever new design he had come up with that day. The kids started to complain about going out to look at the same plants in different positions. I told them that their dad had found his passion and we all needed to go along with it. That was until the day that he decided to take it one step further.I was napping one afternoon, when I heard the familiar daily sound of the shovel going in the back yard. I knew that I would be expected to go out and see what he had done today. So I headed down and saw that he had new things to plant. They looked very familiar and I couldn’t quite place where I had seen those particular flowers. He had a huge smile on his face and seemed even more proud of himself than usual. He then told me to come out front and see what he had done. We walked outside, turned the corner, and to my utter shock, I realized he had stolen my plants from my pot and moved it to his backyard. In place of my sago palm and beautiful flowers, he had left me one lone drab desert tree. I couldn’t believe it! I told him, “You stole my plants. How could you do that?" His reply was, “That tree didn’t go with my yard so I gave it to you." Yes, there is a moral to this story and it is a simple one, be careful what you wish for. I created a gardening monster, who ultimately resorted to stealing trees and flowers from his own wife!
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