A Reluctant Gardener Revealed

My backyard is reverting to a meadow.

Spring is here and my garden’s demands are loud and clear—grass to be mowed, flower beds to be weeded, mulch spread, new plants to be added, old plants to be thinned—you get the idea.

The garden thrived when my kids were little. While I supervised their outdoor play I would pull a few weeds here, prune some bushes there. As they got older, we dug up a flowerbed and planted a vegetable garden. I didn’t want my kids thinking that carrots grew on supermarket shelves! Then one of my boys fell in love with construction. With kid-sized gloves, a wheelbarrow, some caution tape and an orange cone, he happily carted mulch around our construction-site yard.

window box
Window box purchased in a delusional moment of gardening optimism. Repurposed as storage container for baseball hat and gloves.

But as they grew up and no longer played in the back yard, my apathy (or should I say antipathy?) about gardening reared its head.

Sometimes I bribe myself and indulge in an audio book while bringing order to the chaos and keeping us on the right side of our neighbors.

Now, with the grass growing higher and my lawn looking more like a meadow, I’ve noticed I’ve been putting my garden’s demise on Pettigrew’s shoulders. Is this fair?

dug up flowers
I thinned the sedum and planted some near our house. Pettigrew promptly dug them up. He likes to sun there apparently.

He barks when I use the lawn mower. Hops the low fencing I erect around the flowerbeds and rolls around squashing the blooms and, if I should dare plant near the house wall, he digs up these unwanted intruders to his favorite sunning spots.

He makes it challenging.

But I’ve already laid my less-than-muscled arms at his doorstep Why I Don’t Have “Michelle Obama” Arms, and to hurry off solicitors I use the fact that he barks at all new arrivals Just Because My Dog is Barking Doesn’t Mean I Know You Are At the Door, so, can I place the blame for the state of my garden between his paws too?

Please say yes!

Note: For Pettigrew’s perspective on his contributions to gardening see In My Own Voice #10: My Gardening Prowess Pays Off

4 thoughts on “A Reluctant Gardener Revealed

  1. Oh sure! Why not? He’s good for so many things, why not this, too? But I heard that you were entertaining notions of putting plants in the window box. I hear that a question about impatiens brought the (I can only imagine how) enthusiastic recommendation of … tuberous begonias! You know you walked into that one.


    1. No one ever expects the tuberous begonias!! (Spanish Inquisition). Truly, I think they may have something in common. Torture. If I do go the tuberous begonia route, I plan to make mom view them in all their bulbous glory every Friday when she comes over. Seems only fitting. Thank you, by the way, for the permission to lay my lack of gardening enthusiasm between Pettigrew’s noble paws!


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