I am a master gardener.
Technically, Iíve not gone through the courses that would make me a master gardener. Perhaps it would be clearer if I told you that in my little patch of flowers, Iím the master.
Iím the master of what gets planted and where. Iím the master of which critters bite the dust for entering my garden. Iím even the master of the weed-pulling.
Iíve got the garden tools. Iíve got the gloves. And Iíve got the plan in my head for how things should look. Therefore, that makes me master of the garden.
A few weeks ago, I needed help in the garden. It was the end of the summer and plenty of flowers needed cut-back and moved, and in a few cases, removed from my lovely garden. It was more than one person could do, so I enlisted the help of my husband.
The only problem was, he didnít understand the chain of command. He didnít get that I was master of the garden.
In part, I blame myself. We have always operated on the system of everything inside the home is my concern and everything outside is his call.
Naturally, there are a few exceptions. Toilets overrun, his job. Furnace going out? He knows to step to the plate. Choosing a color for the dining room walls? Obviously my call.
Outdoors, the same rules apply. Or should.
As I see it, trees falling from high summer winds ó his job. Cement poured for the patio? Again, his call.
Choosing patio furniture, my job. Decorating the front porch? Itís all me.
Which is why anyone with half-a-mind can understand that the flower garden has me written all over it. Iím the boss of the flower patch. Iím the master gardener.
Prior to our workday, I really believed the line was clearly drawn.
I had told him I needed his help to remove much of the summer growth that had died, and cut back some out-of-control bushes. He agreed, and outdoors we headed.
His first stop was to grab an edger.
ďNot in the plan, friend,Ē I told him. He looked at me like Iíd lost my mind, and told me he could do that while I was doing something else.
ďNo, this must be done first,Ē I said, pointing to the overgrown bush. Again, I got that look of disbelief. I saw myself in his eyes, and I was a raging maniac. Yet I couldnít stop myself.
This was the first chore of the morning, and heíd messed me up.
So, to prove his point, he made quick work of the bush and started the edging while I continued on what I thought would be enough work to keep both of us busy.
Naturally, we worked in silence for much of the next half hour.
I was doing the work I had planned, and picking up the mess he was making while edging. Granted, the work he was doing was needed and it did look nice, but it wasnít in the plan of the master gardener.
We worked hard for a few hours, broke for lunch, and decided to start back in again.
This time, I headed for the wheel barrow and he went to the mower.
Again, not in my plan. But I could tell he was pretty determined, so I kept my mouth shut. Pretty much.
My only request was that he mow with the grass blowing away from my flower bed. He agreed.
His first round on the mower? You guessed it, spraying cut-up grass right into the flowerbed. And to add insult to injury, I was standing in that flowerbed.
He puttered off as happy with himself as if he had good sense. I knew he didnít have good sense.
Even the dog knew there was trouble as she watched the grass spray onto me.
The only one oblivious to the problem was my husband. He finished mowing and came indoors proud of how nice everything looked outdoors, in his domain.
He might be beyond teaching. I guess my role as queen of the flowers will remain in my own mind. And there, I truly am the master gardener.