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Slice of Life - Growing apart

....continued from last week.

After meeting Patrick and Sheila a couplewho shared an enthusiastic passion for gardening I could see straight away that Darcyand I were missing out on something wonderful.

"The couple that grows together staystogether," I told Darcy as I herded him pastthe tools and automotive parts and into theseasonal section of Canadian Tire. My planwas to introduce the whole gardening thing asgradually and pleasantly as possible.Associating plants with shiny new wrenchesand all season radials couldn't hurt.

"Just look at all these plants! Which onesdo you like?" I asked.

"They all look nice. Let's get some greenones and then go have lunch."

"Okay, we need something to fill in theflower garden; something to give the gardensome bones. What do you think?" I pickedup a Diablo Nine Barks and spun it around.

"It's okay I guess. If you like brown leaves."

"They're burgundy. And I do like them. Ilike them a lot."

"These orange and yellow flowers aren'ttoo bad."

"But ours is more of a pink and blue garden.A cottage garden."

"Well, I think a few orange and yellowflowers will liven things up. " Darcy plunkedtwo containers of lilies into the cart. I put theDiablo Nine Barks in beside them. Darcypicked up a topiary tree that had been torturedinto looking like something out of a Dr.Suess book. "This is kind of cool. And I likethe leaves. They're green. They look natural."He looked meaningfully at the Diablo.

"Natural! How can you say that tree looksnatural? When have you ever seen a tree inthe forest shaped like that?"

"Well, I like it." He pushed it into the cart,knocking the Diablo onto its side. "We canput my stuff in the herb and wildflower garden."

"But what about the herbs and wildflowers?"

"There are all kinds of wildflowers alreadygrowing around the place and you can put theherbs in with the vegetables. Hey! Let's getthese wind chimes. And look at this. A plasticdome that shoots out butterfly shaped lightsat night. How cool is that?"

"It's not cool. It's tacky. How can we enjoythe garden when we've got a bunch of strobelights flashing in our face?"

"They're butterfly shaped. You like butterflies."

"I like real butterflies."

"So pretend they're real."

"How can I do that? Butterflies don't fly atnight and they don't glow."

"So pretend they're moths. Or lighteningbugs. Or very special butterflies that only visitour garden."

"Fine. But no wind chimes."

"What? You think wind chimes are tackytoo?"

"No. They're beautiful. It's just that windchimes give me a headache. The garden issupposed to be a natural oasis. A peacefulretreat. How are we supposed to relax and listento the birds with wind chimes janglingaway in the background the whole time?"

I was getting a headache without the windchimes. I fondly recalled when I used to havetotal control of the gardens and everythingthat went in them. It seemed like only yesterday.Then I realized that was because it wasonly yesterday. It probably says all kinds ofugly things about my character, but I realized Iliked having dictatorship in my garden. I likedhaving one space in my life where I didn'thave to make compromises.

"How about we put back my orange andyellow flowers, the nice natural green treeand the cool butterfly strobe lights and inreturn you forget about us gardeningtogether?"

"You'd do that for me?" I asked."You're the best husband in the world."

"Don't mention it." Darcy said. "Nowlet's go have lunch."

Phew. That was a squeaker. Whoeversaid be careful what you wish for sure knewwhat they were talking about.

Shannon McKinnon is a humour columnistfrom the Peace River country. You can readpast columns online at