I guess I didn’t mention that I’m going through with my herb garden in the side yard after all. This gardening obsession spreads worse than weeds; I’ve been looking at my garden with its 38 types of plants (aside from weeds) growing in it and feeling it’s too small. And I want a pretty garden, something restful to look at as well as tasty to eat. (Apparently this gardening obsession also distorts the personality. Not that I’ve never liked looking at nature, but I’ve never striven to design it myself.) Such a garden shouldn’t decrease the appeal of the backyard, even for a family with kids, and I’d get exercise and fresh air being out there.

Finally, and most importantly, I mentioned it to Eric while he was mowing the lawn yesterday. “See where the sidewalk ends?” I said, indicating with my foot. “I’d want the land from there back to the fence.” It’s about 15 x 25, including the giant hostas and daylilies and the gutter. (Hello, rain barrel!) “I’d expand the beds on the sides and put a little island in the middle for berries.”

“Take it,” he said.

“It would cost a couple of hundred dollars to put down the stones and dirt and mulch I want,” I pointed out, not mentioning plants or seeds or trellises.

“So? If it takes me fifteen minutes to mow, twice a week–”

“You don’t mow twice a week,” I said.

“No, but I should, and now that the wedding’s over I’ll have time. Multiply that by twelve weeks of summer, and that’s six hours.”

“Your time’s worth thirty dollars an hour,” I said. (Plus, though it didn’t occur to me at the time, he also mows in the spring and fall, just not as often.)

“More than that, especially since it would otherwise be my free time,” he said. “We’ll go back to Oak Park for those stones.”

So now I’m designing beds and researching what grows well in light shade, and we’re going to go get plastic to kill all the grass, and later on in the year those stones for the path. I love being married to this guy.

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