I was nagged into gardening by my friend, and my first garden was a little plot next to the garage that The Big Daddy dug for me as a mother's day present.
By most gardener's standards it was miniscule, but it was where I practiced until we dug a bigger garden right outside the front door. When I moved my garden into its new home, I started playing around with different flowers. If something was a non-performer, too big or invasive, I yanked it.
The Big Daddy would stand over my shoulder and chastise me every time I pulled something up until one day I said, "You have to get your own garden. You are driving me crazy. You are no longer allowed to tell me what to do in my happy place."
He took that advice to heart.
Over the last few years he has taken over the back yard with raised beds. He could care less about the aesthetics and so it looks rather Bangladeshish to me. I have showed him pictures of English gardens where fruits and vegetables are mixed with flowers or bordered by boxwoods.
"Ack", he says waving me off.
Two years ago right before they were about to bloom, he dug up and transplanted the daffodils that were in the back and they have yet to bloom again.
Trauma, I tell him. You've traumatized them.
Now he has an idea for a little patch of lawn near the street where no grass grows. The day lillys, he says, let's put those there. Get them out of the back yard. They'll do better out there anyways."
Oh, why yes of course, I've heard that flowers thrive on car exhaust.
"Where you can see them and enjoy them"
Suddenly the smell of bullshit wafted through the fresh spring air.
Under the cover of darkness or when I'm at the mall, he will dig them up and finally be rid of anything flowering in the backyard, despite the fact that some of these plants have called that space home years before we bought this house in 1992.
With the absence of a single flower, his man card will be reinstated and not a moment too soon.
Real men grow vegetables to feed their families. Lots and lots of vegetables in boxes lined up like North Korean soldiers, and if you were ever curious about how well Mr. McGregor is endowed you need to take a look at the size of his tomatoes.