Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Awkward Mom vs. the Garden

Hello, True Believers! We're back and we're as awkward as ever.......

It's all the garden's fault. I mean, it's pretty much the whole reason we bought the house.

Not that the house isn't amazing because the house is amazing. And not just because we have been renting for 5 years and it's heaven to be able to knock holes in the wall if we want to. No, it really is a beautiful house, from the stained glass front door that makes rainbows in the afternoon to the finished, tiled, walk-out basement that means I experience natural light while doing laundry and changing cat litter for the first time in my entire life. Seriously, love the house.

But what really made us sure was the garden.

Because if you had a garden this beautiful, 
you would hire someone to guard it too.
Of course, upon reflection, we should have gone with rebels.

Every window at the back of the house overlooks the garden because the house is built into a hill, giving this grand overlook. A sea of flowers, 3 fountains, and a neat expanse of grass paths. It's lovely. And thrilling. And beautiful. And massive. And completely out of my ability. Frankly, it's terrifying and I have no idea why we thought this was a good idea.

We have become friends with the previous owners because they tell you not to do that when you buy a house and Awkward Dad and I love to break rules. Especially unspoken rules that were placed there to protect the feelings of individuals who spent most of their adult lives taking care of and creating a space, only to see it fall in the hands of the awkward and non-green-thumbed. And Mrs. Gardener, a former chemistry professor who is kindness and knowledge itself, came over yesterday to look things over and give me some summer gardening tips. 3 hours later, I couldn't really process thought anymore, everything was a blur of green, Latin classification names, and my own inadequacy. Here are the highlights:

Me: I just love the lilies! (This is the only plant I can identify and pronounce.)
Mrs. Gardener: Oh, me too! Which ones?  I have at least 110 represented out of the several thousand lilium genus.
Me: Hmmm....yes. The, um, purple ones are nice.

Mrs. G: See this one?
Me: Yes, that one's super pretty.
Mrs. G: Weed.
Me: Ah.
Mrs. G: See this one?
Me: Yes, really nice.
Mrs. G: Weed.
Me: This one? Weed?
Mrs. G: That's an Arisaema Triphyllum. And my favorite.

Mrs. G: How much algae reducer have you been using in the fountains?
Me: You can repress algae?
Mrs. G: (Strong teacher look)
Me: I mean, I kinda prefer the natural method of repression, you know. Passive aggressive comments about the algae's inability to be a real plant and whatnot.
Mrs. G: I left you a bottle in the laundry room.
Me: Oh, that's what that was!
Mrs. G: And algae are actually eukaryotic organisms.

Mrs. G: Ah, that's the problem.
Me: What?
Mrs. G: Your fountain filter has an ant colony in it.
Me: You can tell that just by looking at it?!
Mrs. G: The ants spilling out everywhere are a pretty good clue.

Me: (Trying to pull up a particularly tough weed and failing)
Mrs. G: You might want to get a spade for that one.
Me: Oh?
Mrs. G: That's a tree.

Mrs G: All in all, it looks pretty good. You just have some weeding and cutting back to do, well, everywhere, but then I would say you are in pretty good shape.
Me: (dizzy and disoriented) OK, I might not retain all of this though.
Mrs. G: You can always call or email. No worries. Well, no worries until fall that is. That's when all the big work takes place.
Me: (fighting the faint I feel coming on)
Mrs. G: Are you feeling alright? You should really have a hat on in this sun. Let's go see how the children are doing; I think I heard a crash.

Given that my preferred form of gardening is this:

I would say that I have some work to do, Readers. Wish me luck!

Did we mention the tank of rare South African fish 
that the previous owners have gifted us with? 
No? Well, one battle at a time, eh?


  1. I love this! As much as I love to draw plants, I know next to nothing about actual gardening. I would happily come and draw your weeds - they are often some of the prettiest things around!

    1. Come on over and draw the weeds! At least you will know which ones they are! :)