Thursday, March 25, 2010

National Botanical Gardens

There's something you all don't know about JR. Well, there are lots of things you don't know about him but we won't go there. Not today. Not while he's not here to tease about them. Wait, I forgot where I was going with this (damn menopause), oh right, JR.

I've talked about his love for his nightly Fritos corn chips, cashews and beer before dinner. How he eats these things then has dinner, then desert and never gains a pound. BTW, he just lost 2 more. If I didn't love him so much I'd hate him.

What I don't think I've talked about is how much he enjoys gardening. He loves nothing better than to putter around in the dirt growing veggies and flowers, mowing and weeding (except me and the kids. Or at least he better say that). The only time that I have had to do any real outside work (he would question whether I do any work, inside or outside) is when we had our 1200 square foot vegetable garden, 200 sq. ft. herb garden and the orchard. Gardens that size take several people, a couple of kids and a dozen chickens (chickens are the best organic weed control devices on the face of the earth. The eggs ain't to bad either) to keep them productive.

There has never been a house that we have lived in that he hasn't put a garden of some sort in. This includes the apartment we lived in while I went to grad school. In Seattle he knew when to plant everything, in Bloomington, IN the timing was a little different but not so much as to throw him off. Phoenix was a tough nut to crack. It took a little over a year for him to get the seasons (plural) down. Now, in Houston he is starting it once again with our kiddie pool gardens.

This is not to say that I have nothing whatsoever to do with the gardening around here. I usually am the idea gal.
Kiddie pools? My idea.
Huge ass veggie garden? My idea
Chickens? My idea
Ducks? My idea (okay so I make a mistake once in awhile)
Stand alone herb garden? My idea
Container garden in our apartment? My idea

I plan what to plant, where to plant, and how much to plant. He actually plants, weeds, and harvests. He does clean up. You know, like that batter at the end of the rotation in baseball. That is what that person is called right?

To tell you the whole truth and nothing but the truth (ugh I'm a dork) he cleans up after me a lot. Case in point:
  • I decide to paint a room. Three fourths of the way through I get tired of painting and he finishes it.
  • 90% into a remodel project I bail (I'm sure I have a perfectly good explanation) and he takes over to finish the job.

I don't want to you get the impression that I am ADD or anything. I finish stuff. My kids are grown and out of the house (sort of) aren't they? I never bail on the big things. Just the things that need a long term commitment. I'm very project driven.

It's just that this little idiosyncrasy of ours is just how we roll. Sort of like the fact that he can't find his way out of a brown paper bag and I come in to save him with my unerring sense of direction. It's that give and take in a relationship that comes after a few years. It's a synergy that we have developed over time.

What does any of this have to do with the National Botanical Garden? Not a damn thing. Except that JR really likes flowers and I was in Washington DC for our 27th wedding anniversary. So I went to the gardens to feel closer to him that day.



  1. Those photos are awesome. And JR sounds pretty awesome too! I like your arrangement. Someone to help on cleanup sounds like a dream come true; lucky you!!

  2. The clean-up position in baseball is the fourth batter. Presumably, the first three have gotten on base, so you want a good slugger there, to bring everyone home. I, too, am a starter. It's a personality thing.

  3. Beloved is the gardener in our family, and I am his helper (he's just talented that way).

    We haven't been to the Botanical Gardens in DC - but I'm going now! GREAT photos!

  4. Oh! Michele! That was very sweet and touching!


  5. What a lovely post - text and photos!

  6. Oh, that is a wonderful story. What a great team you make! Your respect and appreciation for each other shine through -- and your healthy senses of humor do, too! Thank you so much for sharing. And loved the National Botanical Garden pix -- I didn't even know there was such a thing.

  7. Beautiful photos, I like your tribute more though. :-)

  8. Oh, so so pretty . I love these shots. I need to plant some flowers.

  9. JR sounds like quite a guy. I've done most of what you mentioned in terms of gardens, chickes, ducks, etc. But I was much younger then....