The garden is my wife’s domain

Rumor has it, summer is here. Not the meteorological summer season.

That doesn’t begin until June 21. But to many, the official start of summer is the end of the school year. That’s when parents are left scrambling for activities to keep their youngsters busy during the break from school and when people begin to dive into the outdoor activities they dabble in during the spring months.

At our house, like many, that means getting out into the garden.

I have no illusions of being a gardener myself. In fact, I gladly allow my wife to take on those tasks. I’ll work on the lawn and help out where I can, but the garden is Jenny’s domain.

And this spring has been a hard one for her to deal with. Last year, the warm spring weather meant she was pretty well done with her garden preparations by Memorial Day weekend. The potted plants were all in place, the garden was tilled and planted and we were worrying about the rabbits that would soon invade the garden looking for the tasty peas and tomato plants.

This year, the cool, wet weather put Jenny weeks behind schedule. It wasn’t until this past weekend that we were able to rent the tiller from Ace Hardware. My contribution to the effort was to drive to the store, rent the tiller and bring it home. That almost didn’t work out. When I got there I was told that the tiller my wife wanted (there are two kinds of tillers) had just gone out and wouldn’t be back until mid-afternoon. I was putting my name on the waiting list for the machine when the person who rented the machine returned it, saying their garden was too wet to till.

Fortunately, that wasn’t the case with our garden. I brought the tiller home and helped start it up and show Jenny what levers she needed to pull. I offered to take care of the task, but she told me she would do it while I mowed the lawn.

As I rode the yard tractor in the back yard I watched Jenny wrestle with the beast of a machine that seemed to have a mind of its own. I offered several times to take over the chore, but my wife, known for her determination, declined the kind offer and instead imposed her will over the machine with, for the most part, success. The only problem was that the machine dug up and cut the electric barrier fence that does a great job of keeping our dogs in the yard. Fortunately, this has happened before. I was able to locate the two ends and, using some extra wire we have, reconnect the circuit before the dogs realized the fence was off line and they were free to roam the neighborhood.

Jenny spent the rest of her Sunday preparing her potted plants and placing them in the front and back yards. Next weekend, she’s going to start working in the freshlytilled back garden. That leaves me to take care of the lawn the laundry and the cooking... As much as Jenny likes to garden, I like to grill.

And if it weren’t for the grilling, I probably won’t see much of Jenny this weekend. It’s one of the few things that can get her out of the garden when she’s enjoying a day of planting.