Sunday, July 13, 2008

Is he reading nature and garden blogs?

The engineer-type husband – yeah, I’ve talked about him here before. He isn’t inclined to the see beauty in bees or spider webs glistening in the morning sun but will react to a sunset once in a while and urge me to get my camera. He’s far different from me in so many ways and I usually roll my eyes when says, “Give me the facts – just the facts.” Facts are good but a constant stream of them bores the hell out of me. I find our differing views to be quite funny.

He wanted the project to be his own. The pond garden expansion is mine, he declared. It’s a small expansion surrounding some new Bradford Pear trees he recently planted. The design, rock, and plants will be my creation. My choices.

Well, go ahead, Michael! Knock yourself out! Whatever! My only suggestion is when you get to the garden center, look for perennials.

He needed some verification. Perennials? They come back every year, right?

Yes. And don’t come back here with anything that resembles your prize pick from last summer. You know - that retarded tree by the driveway?


More than odd grasses that tickle his palms, he likes this Mugo Pine most of all. Well, he claims he likes it... The eyesore’s growth is stunted, maybe because I refuse to water it. Located near the driveway, I’m always tempted to back my car into its trunk enough to cause an uproot… Oops. Sorry

He arrived home two hours later with his hand-picked treasures. I heard his truck back up the driveway and wished for self-control and a sense of humor, at least. Fully expecting to see flats of Marigolds or sickly, non-descript grasses, I was first impressed by the bench.


Benches are great. I have been missing one. Ten very small plants surround it.


What? Prairie Splendor Coneflowers?

Crème Brulee Coreopsis? Who told him about Coreopsis? I know I didn’t!

And several beautiful shades of pink daylilies including some Pandora’s Box purple, yellow, and white?

I was speechless. I didn’t know what to say! He began digging the holes and I planted.

Every evening, before the sun casts long shadows and when my outside chores are almost done, I chill out on my new bench. I breathe deeply and focus not on this difficult month, but what might fly by any second…



A battered Zebra Swallowtail made me dizzy. They’re hyperactive and the most difficult to photograph.



This is the second species hummingbird moth I’ve found, all infatuated with Verbena.




Mid-morning view. Michael did good.

He must be reading nature blogs. Yes, that’s it. But he’ll never, ever admit it!

Update: Bella is on the mend, but slow going. A steroid is a very strange medication. Wonder drug? Maybe, but the side effects stink. I hate drugs. I constantly check on her.


Beth said...

what a lovely spot--I am from a long line of engineers and they really do have an aesthetic side, but often are a little self conscious about it or unable to know how to express it well to their spouses--that might be why he wanted to go alone--he did well. Enjoy it!

NCmountainwoman said...

Great post. Your conversations sound a bit like ours. Can't tell you how many times my husband will ask, "Does that train of thought have a caboose?" Makes us both laugh.

Your bench looks very inviting as do the plants surrounding it.

thailandchani said...

Michael did a wonderful job. It's very beautiful!

Cheryl said...

Well Mary...Michael did great, didn't's amazing how they come up trumps when you least expect them to. Lovely bench to....
Glad to hear Bella has improved, long may it continue...

Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

I think Beth described At's analytical brain too! Michael did a wonderful job! Tell him we said so!

Hang in there Bella!

Jayne said...

Well now, good for Michael!! How lovely to be surprised with such a great variety of plants. Love the new bench for a calm place to sit and gaze upon your beautiful yard.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Oh Mary this post really hit home. My Dearly Beloved sneaks a read in every once in awhile too. I would just faint if he told me he was going to purchase flowers by himself though. He would indeed help plant but I would check ot see if the world stopped rotating if he exclaimed that he was going shopping for a plant. Ha...

I hope Bella gets to feeling better soon. When I have taken steroids I couldn't sleep. I hope Bella isn't have more difficult trouble.

Corey said...

That tree is fug . . LOL!

BJ said...

Oh Mary....I had to laugh. I could have predicted that conversation myself. Sometimes we just don't give them enough credit, ugh? So glad that you weren't disappointed. Everything looks just beautiful. I love everyone of those flowers.

Thinking about you and family alot. ((((Hugs)))).

NatureWoman said...

This looks wonderful!!

Ruth said...

Great choice of flowers and the bench looks very inviting. Surprises like these are very nice...better than Christmas I think.

Q said...

Dear Mary,
Michael did very good! His plants will grow and be wonderful year after year. The bees and the butterflies will love the blooms and you can sit on your new bench and take pics! Perfect.
Zebra's are lovely and are always moving as are the Giants!
Glad Bella is getting better.
Have a relaxing week if you can. At least in the evenings you can relax a bit on your new bench!
He's a good husband.

LauraHinNJ said...

Beautiful and looks so relaxing.

My husband has a thing for odd plants, too. I always have to restrain him.

Larry said...

Looks like Michale did good. My wife reads your blog sometimes and she always ribs me about how much nicer your photos are than mine.I've been a neglectful blogger to Mary.I just haven't had the time or ambition lately. No sense in forcing the issue.Thanks for stopping by to say hello.

Donna said...

Wow, Mary, Michael did a really nice job! My husband would have brought home snapdragons!

Wendy said...

Oh you make me laugh! You two sound just like my hubby and me. I was telling him today that I wanted 2 colours in my hair when I go to the hairdresser next week. I get my hair streaked and often 2 colours work better than one.

"Why do they have to do your hair twice? Can't they just mix the colours?"
I rest my case.

Love, love, love your garden bench and new flowers (I agree - he must be reading gardening blogs - he sure picked some winners!)

Anonymous said...

Classy bench! Guys always love the hardscaping, don't they? And fantastic plant selection!

My spouse is the supervisor at a garden center, so he's always lugging something into the backyard to add to my backlog of stuff to plant. Usually about the time I get caught up, he decides to mark a bunch of stuff down and bring more stuff home.

Glad to hear Bella's getting back on her feet!

Anonymous said...

What a lovely surprise in Michael's latest purchases! And your photo of that swallowtail is fantastic.

KGMom said...

Way to go, Michael!
Coreopsis--oh, I love it. Mine blooms every year--and has for quite a few years. Some of my other perennials have quit (e.g. gallardia) but the coreopsis keeps going.
Love the bench too.
Maybe the mungo pine is JUST what you need for the drought? Tee hee.
Finally--I feel for you having to watch Bella. Steroids are great for imflammation, but the excess drinking & eating--then the corollary. . .peeing. You get the picture.

Beth said...

Mary, your photos are just so stinkin' good.

Awesome little bench and flowers and birdies and all that. I'd say Michael's a keeper...

Carol Michel said...

It just goes to show, wonders never cease, a bench, good perennial flowers. Hey, maybe HE'LL runover that mutant plant for you? Now that he's showing signs of being enlightened a bit about gardening...

Carol, May Dreams Gardens

Rose said...

Wow! Husbands can surprise you sometimes:) He did a great job, and picking out that bench just tops it all. The flowers he picked are going to attract even more butterflies to your garden. He deserves a hug!

Glad Bella is doing a little better.

Anonymous said...

What an addition to your yard! I don't have bench, but have always wanted one. Michael picked a beauty. I'll bet some gardener type person at the store helped him choose the right flowers, don't you?

Glad to hear Bella is improving.

Debbie said...

Michael indeed do well, I love the bench!

My Brian has always been very willing to do most of the bull work in my flower gardens (he loves working in the vegetable garden), but didn't really take much interest otherwise, but the last few years he has taken to paying attention and making suggestions. I think he is catching the flower gardening bug!

Glad Bella is on the mend and yes, Prednisone is a very strange drug. I often wonder if the cure is worse than the disease.

JeanMac said...

Go Michael, go! Good job.

Julie Zickefoose said...

Hey, we all have "what was I thinking" moments, and that mugho pine qualifies. I love the coreopsis, but the name makes me hungry. I'm touched by the thought that Michael probably picked out plants he thought YOU'D like, and he seems to know you quite well.

My father-in-law found a sign behind a cemetery that said NO PLANTING WITHOUT PERMISSION and brought it home to me. Yeah, the shoe fits.

Bill planted our weeping willow-now huuuuuge--and wants a mimosa. I do not want a mimosa. There. I said it. I think I would quietly girdle one before I'd let it take over my yard.

Giant wet kiss to B-b-b-Bella. Feel better soon, girlydog.

kate smudges said...

I like your new bench - Michael did well in his choice of plants. The Coneflower is beautiful.

nina at Nature Remains. said...

Every garden needs a bench--I picture you sitting and relaxing there, frogs plunging into cool, clear water... a dragonfly lighting at the edge, enjoying the pretty place you've created.
Every yard should have such a spot!

(is that a baby cardinal?)

dguzman said...

Holy moly, the hubby did well!

Robin's Nesting Place said...

What a thoughtful hubby you have. He knew that you needed a place to sit to photograph your birds and butterflies.

Kathie Brown said...

Hooray for Micheal! Oh, you had me laughing out loud at the beginning. Gus and I are so different also and often have to work to find something in common! Photography is one of our shared interests. Your photos today are stunning and I love the zebra swallowtail! Send Micheal my way if he wants to read more nature blogs. I'll be looking for him! Meanwhile, enjoy the view from that bench, it's priceless!

Susie said...

What beautiful additions to your pond area :) Your hubby did a great job with his shopping for plants and garden decor!!

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