doodle by andre: sad state of the union?

doodle by andre jordanA MONG GARDENING COUPLES, IT’S OFTEN SAID that the secret to a successful marriage lies in having separate beds. We’re not clear that the union Andre the doodler has depicted here is thriving, exactly, despite the his-and-hers tactic. Yours? (Sorry, is that too personal?)

  1. Aja says:

    My grandparents, although they did work together in many spaces of their garden, did have a unspoken “his and hers” tactic – she had a glorious flower bed that he wasn’t really allowed in, and he was master of the vegetable garden. It always worked for them. My guy and I are tackling it together again this year, although I would like to think I have control over the herbs and strawberries :)

    1. margaret says:

      Welcome, Aja. Hopefully he won’t read the blog and see that you are in charge of the herbs and strawberries and take over the tomatoes in retaliation. :) Nice to see you, and do come again.

  2. Susan says:

    My grandparents had a rose garden in England, they did garden together. I would remember hearing horses hooves coming down the road in the morning and my Grandpa running down the stairs after the fresh droppings for their garden. Thank you Aja I have not thought about that in years.
    I pretty much garden alone, my other half just likes to watch.
    Andre, thanks for my Thursday smile

  3. andre says:

    Thank you Susan.

    My wife and I are just about to buy our first home together. It has a very small garden. It will be interesting to see if we have separate areas that we work in.

  4. Masdeleine says:

    My parents had 2 rather large (for potted ones) pine trees on the main terrace- one belonged to her, the other to him – and it was strictly hands-off!!! Their theories about pruning were to be seen here – at times you would not believe they were the same species! She was the boss in the garden but also knew not to go near his workshop bench!

  5. Dan Eskelson says:

    Separate beds – ha! – my wife just says ‘get out there and weed the garden’! ;-)

    Seriously though, she does have her “kitchen garden” raised beds near the house. But guess who does the heavy chores there also?

    It is quite nice to have a gardening partner…we bring different outlooks and styles to the work.

  6. Kathy says:

    I forget all about being the boss of my space when I need muscle for heavy lifting or major transplanting. Andre, another great one!

  7. Country Gardener says:

    Most of our garden is in the style I favor – big beds featuring a naturalistic blend of tough perennials, many of them native plants, and masses of ornamental grasses. It’s a prairie look tailor-made for a sunny, wind-swept country garden.

    So imagine my shock when after my husband told me that he wanted to take up rock gardening. He needed a garden to call his own, and deliberately picked something I had no interest in. To my mind, rock gardening means finicky gardeners trying to coax itsy alpine treasures into bloom in piles of rocks trucked into the landscape – fussy and definitely not my style.

    Well, the rock garden turned out beautifully because it’s a raised bed formal design, not just a pile of rocks. Here’s a picture: http://countrygardener.blogspot.com/2008/06/after-decade-more-before-and-after.html. The great thing about my husband’s rock gardening is that he learned about seed starting and took over that job. Now he starts his alpine seeds and my pet container annuals too.

  8. Keith Alexander says:

    Separate and not quite equal. My partner’s beds (only 2) within the whole garden are usually not quite up to my standards of content, design, and maintenance. So being the ‘type A’ that I am, I have to lend a hand to get them into shape now and then. He appreciates the fine-tuning I do, and he’s really more of a greenhouse guy anyway. There he’s able to execute complete control over his Neofinetia collection.

  9. We gained our first garden last March and soon our roles became clear. My husband very much enjoys the creation of things, he built our raised beds, patio and driveway. I on the other hand am much happier with the ongoing maintenance, growing, weeding, planting, cutting etc. I do tend to give him more leeway in our flower bed which we keep seperate form my fruit and veg patch! And when we had a new toilet fitted I gave him full responsibilty for planting it up in his newly ‘created’ rockery area. Maybe it’s a rock thing?

  10. invisiblebees says:

    In the shower this morning I had an epiphany: “Oh goody! It’s Thursday! I will hear from Andre today!” …So smart. So lovely. So real. So, so funny. (This may be my favorite so far.)

  11. margaret says:

    Welcome Dan, and also Puddle Monster. Comparatively speaking, you both sound as if the his/hers thing is working pretty well. I hope to see each of you again soon (with or without your his/hers). :)

    @Country Gardener: Wow! Your husband isn’t kidding; he’s going for serious here. I am also loose and a goose in my “design,” quite the opposite of his rockery, but I am really impressed. Thank you for the link.

  12. chris says:

    well, it certainly seems like her garden has been “fertilized”!

    my wife paints and i garden and clear brush etc. it all pretty much amounts to the same thing, a smile on the face while you run the race.

  13. Tammy says:

    Thanks for the chuckle, Andre. I really needed it.

    My father is dying at home, being carefully and lovingly attended by me and my sister, but mostly by my mother. 54 yrs. they have worked side-by-side much of that time creating lovely flower gardens. (It is why I love gardening so much.) I will always have so many wonderful memories of them working in the garden together.

    1. margaret says:

      Thank you, Tammy, for coming here and telling us that bit of family lore. The act of gardening leaves us with many good memories; sounds like you have some beautiful ones. And another thought: To attend to the dying is one of the living’s greatest privileges, I think; an honor rich with every range of emotion (and even some pretty funny moment, when there is nothing left to do under the chronic strain but break down and laugh). I have taken away so many lessons form those moments, sad as they always were. Thinking of you; see you soon again.

  14. Anna says:


    We will loose many things during our lives. Our securities, some family and some friends. However one thing will always be with us and that is our love of the herbs, the flowers, and the trees that we tend. Learn from them.


  15. Country gardener says:

    Thanks, Margaret. My husband change hobbies frequently. While he still tends to his rock garden, he has since gone through a stone carving phase. Who knew that any mortal could could make a replica of an old English sundial? See http://countrygardener.blogspot.com/2007/07/little-rain-again.html for a picture. So what does this sculptor do as soon as he has mastered the craft of stone carving? Well, he finds another difficult hobby: for the past two years he has been learning to play the violin. That’s all on top of his day job, which keeps the wolf well away from the door. He’s truly weird, but I love him.

    1. margaret says:

      Welcome, Mael. The longing is in full force here as well. Maybe if we all hope really, really hard it will make it hurry? See you again soon.

  16. MulchMaid says:

    Our newer backgarden is quite clearly divided: I made the sunny, south Mediterranean area and Mr. MulchMaid made the Northwest native area in the north backgarden. We each manage our own, but lots of kibbitzing seems to result in a better whole. Just who is going to previal in the in-between tropical fusion area remains to be seen…

    1. margaret says:

      Welcome, MulchMaid. Anyone who calls her partner Mr. MulchMaid is OK in my book, and so is the “he” who allows it. One must have a sense of humor to garden, I think. Thanks for your nice comment and do come again soon (and bring “Him” next time).

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