After all these years my husband has caught the gardening bug and it is positively precious. He’s set up a nursery in his workshop where he tends rows of seedling trays. Each pod is labeled. Each label corresponds to a field on the spreadsheet nearby where he records data. Hearing a forecast for spring snow, he left work early to buy plastic covering. He spent until dark building a hoop house over his baby strawberry plants. He was up early this morning, checking the soil temperature. I had no idea he’d put a heater and thermometer under the hoop. “The strawberries are fine,” he said, “How’d your tulips and daffodils do?” As I was not yet out of bed, I could only assume they were dead or fine. “They’re fine,” I said. Turns out they are.
On the one hand, I couldn’t be happier to have him with me in the dirt. On the other, his innocence and excitement exposes how very jaded I’ve become. Just last weekend at May’s Green House, he held up something pretty and said with a smile, “How about this?” “Is it Mother’s Day yet?” I practically grumbled, knowing it’s too early. “Or this?” in his innocent voice. “That’s deer food,” I replied.
He still believes knowledge plus hard work equals success. He’s yet to feel the dark anger and weeping heartbreak of roses ravaged in a single night or tomatoes ruined by hooligan raccoons. He still thinks baby deer are cute. He’s on his gardening honeymoon. I don’t want to spoil that.
This winter I lost the serviceberry tree in my front flower bed. The ground there is too wet and the roots rotted. He helped me cut it up and drag it to the woodpile. Saturday we bought a wisteria for that spot. It will require constant pruning to maintain a tree shape but I’m game. We dug a huge hole and dumped in lots of extra nutrient and material for breaking the clay. I’m thinking of redirecting the guttering which will mean moving a juniper and massive digging to lay more drain tile. It’s crazy I know, but now, with a partner, it’s a whole new project. peace & prayers, pastor annette