Our gardener up and moved back to his country of origin a few months ago. What he lacked in expertise he made up in exuberance and emotional intelligence (and I’ll leave it at that). Now he is gone, rather than look for a new gardener, I think I may put M up to the task.
Frankly, given how potty people are for their gardens here, I’m surprised how hard it is to find anyone to properly tend to mine. I suppose if I were willing to pay a tony landscaping company to come and really whip this garden into shape I’d be all right, but given that I was chastised by the men in the house for planting flowers in what was apparently an end zone, I know better than to invest too much in the project. I’m just looking for some basic maintenance. How is that so hard to find? I did find one rather hunky guy to do the garden for about 6 months. He was quite dreamy in a clean scrubbed kind of way, but when I found out he was 20 years younger than me, I felt dirty. (He drove a Jeep Cherokee that was a late ’80′s early ’90′s model. I told him that vintage was all the rage while I was in high school and he looked at me like I was Martha Washington, raving about the horse and buggies of my youth.) Soon, he left for… well, greener pastures.
Frankly, I think many Seattleites do their own yard work. Partly because they like to do things themselves rather than phone out for help (in stark contrast to Los Angelenos, who pick up the phone when a light bulb burns out), and partly because they want to have an excuse to walk around town in their grubby gardening gear. You always know spring is coming in Seattle when the de rigueur down vest is replaced by its fluffy fleece cousin, and is soon joined by a pair of Hunter boots (forest green, of course) and mucky cargo pants with pockets that actually have lots of little things in them. Ah, the Pacific NW.
So, M is our gardener of the moment, and he’s a rather capable one at that. Yesterday he and Bennett mowed the lawn. After Bennett apprenticed for about 45 minutes, M let him mow on his own. (Yes, given the boy’s history, this was rather shocking.) But the weeds still need to be whacked, and they’re particularly tufty around the corners of the jungle gym.
I found M looking for some weed whackers on Amazon and I pointed to the cutest one on the page — bright green and shiny with a lovely looping handle. Apparently cuteness is not a factor when choosing a weed whacker. Shows you what I know.
When we first moved to Seattle I planted with reckless abandon (as I had in LA), but not much grew. The ground never got warm enough for tomatoes, and with the exception of some herbs, the garden was sad and barren. Plus there are these nasty, invasive bluebell weeds that look pretty but ravage all my work every year, no matter how hard I try. People are mad for raised beds here, but that’s another level of gardening entirely as far as I’m concerned. Any time carpentry enters in an equation I know I’m outclassed. I’ve had better luck planting some things in pots, but the boys seem to think that any pot is a piss-pot, so you can imagine how wary I am of my summer veggies. Bennett does like to grab a huge hunk of parsley on his way into the house and eat it. Given that he or Efram probably peed on the same bunch the day before, I’m not very fond of this habit, but I pick my battles. Pee-soaked parsley is the least of my problems. Say that fast five times.
About Lea Geller
I’m a part-time lawyer, full time mother of five (ages nine and down)… Currently in sunny Seattle. People ask how I manage it all, and I like to say that I do lots of things, but none of them very well. That’s my secret…. In a house of seven strong, distinct personalities, I always seem to have a story to tell. I suppose I got tired of people telling me, ‘You have to write this down!” So, I finally did, and blogging about our large mishaps, small triumphs, and other adventures, has helped hold my sanity together, albeit loosely. Check out the rest of Lea's family's adventures on her blog, This Is the Corner We Pee In.