Saturday, January 21, 2006

Spring Planting

I'm trying to decide what to tell the gardener. He thinks I'm nuts.

When we bought this house, he came with it in the form of a note, jotted in pencil, not entirely free from misspellings, asking us to keep him on, as he had cared for this property for years. The owner had died; we inherited him.

He found my dislike for rose bushes acceptable, maybe even understandable. He didn't care one way or the other when I told him to pull the pampas grass. But when I purposefully put the children's pumpkins to rot in the front bed so a vine would emerge months later, snaking across the lawn he neatly manicured, he shook his head. And my decision to leave an enormous old stump in the center of the yard so the children can use it as a stage is absolute craziness in his eyes.

So here I sit, catalogues in front of me, my planting zone (7a or 7b, depending whom you ask) circled. And the only thing I know for sure is that no matter what I tell him to plant or where, he will bed it down with

pine straw
(Chiefly Southern US) Yellowed fallen pine needles.
"pine straw." The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004. 21 Jan. 2006.