spouses in the garden

jbest123(Zone 5 PA)December 8, 2008

SPOUSES IN THE GARDEN is the subject of a post in another forum. The responces to it was very interesting and I thought it would be a good subject for this bunch. This is my post to that forum.

They say that opposites attract, well you cannot get more opposite than my wife and me. My wife was raised in the city in a home sitting on a very small lot and no garden and minimal landscaping. I was raised in the country, my parents had an extensive garden, orchard, and landscaping and both gardened until the day they died. We also processed our own meats from my grandfatherÂs farm. Today I enjoy gardening very much as my wife enjoys preparing dinner. She will spend more time through the year cooking than I do gardening. There are times though when her houseplants and tropical are a pain in the butt when they are taking up space in the greenhouse.

John

Here is a link that might be useful: Johns Journal

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engineeredgarden(7, nw Alabama)

My wife had previously had a garden before her and I met, but now she really doesn't get involved with it. I asked her why she doesn't help me with the sfg, and she told me that there was nothing left for her to do....I was doing everything already. Go figure....It seems that i'm "hogging" all of the fun. :) Anyway, I actually feel sorry for her at times, because it's a regular occurence for me to say "Hey honey...come see what I built!" She's usually afraid to look...hee hee. I'm always building weird things, ya know......

EG

    Bookmark   December 8, 2008 at 9:58AM
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sinfonian(U8b A2 S5 SeaWA)

My wife grew up a hippy, eating tofu and soy substitutes. However, they never had much of a garden due to moving around a lot.

Not sure why, but she wants nothing to do with the garden, or even the rest of the landscaping. My aunt tries to get her out in the yard but she politely refuses. She only helps me with two man projects like putting the plastic on the hoop covers. The garden is my hobby.

For some reason she's not much on a cook either, which is a slight challenge. She's great with the kids though.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2008 at 12:38PM
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anniesgranny(6b)

Once, about thirty years ago, my husband decided to "help" me in the yard by pulling weeds. Those "weeds" were my grape hyacinths...hundreds of them that had taken a few years to fill in just as I wanted them. Now I let him mow the lawn, but he and the dogs are not allowed in my garden. They do way too much damage!

He doesn't cook, either.

Hey...he's GREAT at opening jars, he's not too macho to help with the dishes/housework, and I've always had my very own checking account, and he's a wonderful father to the kids.

But he'd better keep his hands off my garden.

Granny

Here is a link that might be useful: Annie's Kitchen Garden

    Bookmark   December 8, 2008 at 12:39PM
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jbest123(Zone 5 PA)

On the different responsibilities that we each have, when suggestion are ask for or just volunteered by the other party, much consideration is given to it. Our system has worked well for 40 years and we are very happy with it.

Now comes the scary part, I think that EG and I are very similar in the way we do things. I very seldom ask for help and like to work at my own pace. I have as much fun planning the job as completing it. I insure that I have the proper equipment I will need before I start. On the other hand, my wife just jumps in with both feet and on occasion I will have to throw her a life preserver.

John

Here is a link that might be useful: Johns Journal

    Bookmark   December 8, 2008 at 3:28PM
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peel(z6 CT)

This is pretty much my thing, although my husband has been very helpful doing the building and heavy lifting. I would do it if I could but I'm not strong enough to lift frozen bags of compost! I'm very hands on when it comes to home projects though. I do whatever I'm able to. We've been slowly renovating our house over the last few years, doing everything ourselves. On my own, I've tiled the fireplace, tiled the downstairs bathroom, installed the bathroom fixtures, stripped and painted woodwork, and designed everything we've done. I grew up in a historic house that my father had been working on for 25 years, up until he passed away a few years ago. I have a real appreciation for old homes and the work that goes into caring for them. I don't have an old home of my own, but I still strive to get that "look", most of the time without realizing it. I love to do manual labor as long as it doesn't wipe me out too much. We make a pretty good team. With that said, he's already told me "you take care of the garden, I'll take care of the rest of the yard". Good man!

    Bookmark   December 8, 2008 at 3:37PM
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carolynp(z7)

I know a bunch of ladies who told me when I was younger they wanted to meet a guy who would treat them like a princess and spoil them and I always thought they were fools. I didn't realize until just recently that I am definitely achieving princess status. My hubby loves video games and vw bugs, lol, but if I ask him to help in the garden, he will. He works these enormous hours, so I do what I can to make his life easy when he's at home, but trust me when I tell you, I pretty much get what I want. He's a pretty talented "fixer", but he isn't the architect that EG is. He probably gives me a couple hours a month. Considering the sixty-hour work week he's been giving, I think that's enough, lol.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2008 at 4:43PM
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jbest123(Zone 5 PA)

carolyn, my mother used to tell me, if I wanted to be treated like a king I should treat my wife like a queen ( probably an old saying I do not know). I have seen many cases that it is king and servant or queen and servant though. In my case, it is defiantly king and queen.

John

Here is a link that might be useful: Johns Journal

    Bookmark   December 8, 2008 at 5:17PM
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anniesgranny(6b)

Carolyn, my husband owned and ran three businesses at once. He says he doesn't even remember the 70s, he was working so hard. But he provided well for our family, and I learned to do everything in house and yard while he was keeping the bills paid and feeding, clothing and sheltering our five children. When the kids were old enough, I worked in the business with him and he helped me with the housework. We've always shared chores, but I was/am the most able to tackle things such as gardening, painting, electrical, plumbing and building. He's like John's wife...jumps in and "does" without thinking. He's 73 years old now, not in the best of health (his fault, he'd rather take medications than diet and exercise), so I pretty much do everything now...except open those pesky jars. ;-)

Granny

Here is a link that might be useful: Annie's Kitchen Garden

    Bookmark   December 8, 2008 at 5:45PM
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engineeredgarden(7, nw Alabama)

Hey John - we're just alike! Cool! I work 50 hours a week at my day job, then probably 30 per week outside doing various chores (gardening, building, composting, making redneck videos, etc.)Ha!

BTW, I made a weird contraption this last weekend...hee hee. It works good, though! I'll blog about it later in the week.

EG

    Bookmark   December 8, 2008 at 5:56PM
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ribbit32004

The man isn't so interested in gardening. He listens with a half ear as for the seventeenth time I go over why I'm planting what where. He is incredibly understanding with the costs involved with set up and really, really helped build those boxes without a moment's hesitation.

He does, however, find my choice of hobby interesting since I trap all bugs I find in the house under a glass and wait for him to come dispose of them.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2008 at 9:19PM
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carolynp(z7)

Heh, wait til the first time he finds you talking to a spider and encouraging them to build in your beds, lol.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2008 at 1:01AM
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soonergrandmom

My husband hates to get dirty but he does till the garden in the spring (if I let him) and he is pretty good at picking and eating that produce when it is ripe. He is really good at the kind you can pick and eat in the garden like the sugar snap peas and the small tomatoes. LOL

Man we are having quite a storm right now with thunder, lightening, and very heavy rainfall. I understand some will get penney size hail with it. Just lost my TV station and have had to answer the weather radio 6 times. I think we are getting snow tomorrow.

Just the kind of night to sit in my warm, dry house and learn about winter sowing and sign up for seed swaps...and be thankful my husband went out and put my car under the carport in case the hail comes my way

Gardening is my thing, not his. He grew up on a rice farm and I think that was all the incentive he needed to get a masters degree so he never had to work on a farm again. I am happy if I can dig in the dirt all day.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2008 at 1:59AM
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ribbit32004

HA! Carolynp, the boy caught a spider in his bug box last year and named him Radio (short for radioactive spider). He put it in the garden and each time he saw a spider afterwards he shouted that it was one of Radio's friends coming to help.

Actually, come to think of it, it's not the man that's so much help when the plants start growing, but the boy and the girl. My goal this year is to teach the girl the difference between a ripe tomato and a green tomato. Maybe she'll let some mature this year before picking them!

    Bookmark   December 9, 2008 at 5:44AM
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jbest123(Zone 5 PA)

I would hazard a guess that if you and/or your spouse garden and you enjoy talking or posting about gardening, then you are probably very happily married and satisfied with your station in life.

John

Here is a link that might be useful: Johns Journal

    Bookmark   December 9, 2008 at 7:23AM
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ribbit32004

I'll second that, John. I wonder if it has anything to do with the personality of someone who gardens...the nurturing and patience involved.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2008 at 7:48AM
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jbest123(Zone 5 PA)

I do not know rabbit, but just thinking about what I posted, it dawned on me that I am on my second marriage and I have gardened all my adult life. Maybe it is just the folks on this forum.

John

Here is a link that might be useful: Johns Journal

    Bookmark   December 9, 2008 at 8:56AM
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vikingkirken(6b)

My husband isn't really into gardening himself, but he's definitely supportive! This year he built me a bunch of raised beds in our backyard (still some to finish in the spring)... he gave up about a third of our already-small yard for that! He also helped me clear and till a VERY neglected community garden plot this spring (and commiserated with me when the deer knocked down my fence and ate everything I had planted!) He even picks up UCG for me anytime he stops by the local coffee shop... and he doesn't even complain about the big ol' compost heaps stacking up on every bed in the garden. He just rolls his eyes when he's cleaning up the kitchen and I stop him with "Don't throw out that banana peel! I'm taking it out to the compost heap!" (and then do just that, despite the violent thunderstorm raging outside). Ha! =)

The one gardening chore that he enjoys is cutting the grass... he has one of those manual reel mowers and he finds it relaxing. Which is fine with me, that's the one chore I can do without!

Growing and preserving our own food lessens our dependence on cash and grocery stores, and taking the kids out in the garden makes for great homeschooling lessons. We are pretty libertarian, so the whole self-sufficiency thing definitely appeals to us. At least, it's easy to sell my hubby on my gardening habit when I put it that way ;)

Lori

    Bookmark   December 9, 2008 at 10:18AM
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carolynp(z7)

I'm so on that Lori! Last year in the oldest's curriculuum, we were supposed to grow a bean in a bag. He was like, ummmm... Because he had been helping every step of the way in the yard. I tend to agree that libertarian goes alongside homeschooling.
Granny, I'd like to be married as long as you have been someday, so I'll definitely pay attention to what you've done! Walk with the wise...

    Bookmark   December 9, 2008 at 1:21PM
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ribbit32004

John, I've been thinking some more about what you said. I know some on here have said that they garden with their spouses, but most have said they do it occasionally with their spouses or not at all.

Whereas it is very important to enjoy doing things with your spouses, I also think it equally as important to do things you enjoy without them as well without feeling guilty. The support you receive from them while you're doing something you enjoy (whether or not they share the same passion)is the best in the world.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2008 at 7:20PM
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kayhh

What a great thread! Rabbit, I agree completely! Everybody needs to have their own thing. Hubby fishes, I garden. (we eat well!)

Sure, he and our son help me with heavy projects when I ask them to; putting up a new fence for vines, planting a tree, yanking a shrub. But for the most part his primary roll in gardening is to pick the perfect tomato for his tomato sandwich and to give me his opinion on the taste and texture of new varieties.

Oh, and bury the fish bones in the compost pile.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2008 at 10:08AM
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skip_7a(Zone 7a)

My wife and I both enjoy gardening. That said, we seem to be interested in different aspects of gardening. She is more into flowers and shrubs and such. I prefer to grow things to eat. It's not that she dislikes vegetable & fruit tree gardening or that I don't like flowers, we just have our preferences. She does help me when I ask and vice versa, but I probably don't ask often enough.

Here is a link that might be useful: Skip's Edible Garden

    Bookmark   December 10, 2008 at 11:01AM
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