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What would you do or say?

Posted by dottie_in_charlotte z7-8 NC (My Page) on
Tue, Jun 15, 10 at 9:18

Just a background..I moved from our Matthews house leaving behind the weeds,wild bermuda and increasingly shady yard that had me moving my veg. garden three times during our 18 years there.
We kept the house, our son lived there and has since gotten married and has twin toddlers with an 'interesting' girl from Poland.
Last month her permanent visa was approved and they arrived in USA to live with us while they work to clean up that yard and house and renovate the house to her specifications.(that's a clue)

Two weeks after the kids arrived here, her Uncle arrived from Poland. I thought..OK..we have room here, I can deal with another guest.
Didn't know he planned to stay for 5 weeks. He came to help the kids clean up the yard,trim up the trees and plan/plant a vegetable garden.(it's only high-June and 90 degrees,LOL..maybe the heat loving crops will take.)

As a gardener,trained and experienced, and a Mom, it is delightful when the next generation shows an interest in gardening. You want to give the benefit of your experience and help them avoid the mistakes you made early on. Especially so when they are gardening the same property you slaved and struggled and sometimes succeeded with for nearly two decades.

With them, you have a hard-working man willing to do all the heavy work but you cannot communicate with him because of the language barrier.

Left to his own devices, this man has dug up and thrown out mature specimens I know I could have sold for upwards of $1000. (monster contorted filbert and other prime stuff)

He dug out a whole row of grey owl cypress, trimmed the boles and used the boles to create a rustic fence around what my DIL said would be left a natural area.
GIANT LOL...because he surrounded a willow trunk laying on the ground surrounded by giant pokeberry and wild blackberry.
Lovely fence though.

He hauled out the stored landscape timbers and 2x10 treated lumber scraps we'd built a deck from 10 years back and created a surround for 'their vegetable garden'.
He installed this surround so the garden is in full shade from 3PM on (from evergreens) and disregarded where I showed them the irrigation system path of water flow was.

The surround to the garden is tight..will make a nice mud bath after good rains.

The sunny part of my original garden with really good soil will now be grassed and mowed.

What cracked me up the most was seeing this man working barefoot and wearing only colored briefs using a pick-ax to dig out tree roots from the garden area because it is sited now within the driplines of many hardwood trees.

He's worked so hard for his niece and they both ignored recommendations on siting this garden. This mother of twins thinks she'll have time to keep this garden weeded and tended and it will be fruitful even in the shade.

I'm not usually the ' I told you so ' type but this is such a massive undertaking of labor in this unusual heat for the Uncle. It's a shame my DIL demands my gardening advice and then ,almost purposefully, does the opposite.

What would you do or say, if anything?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: What would you do or say?

I feel your pain. My gardening advice was begged for, but then dismissed before I got halfway through my half of the conversation. Some people just have to learn lessons the hard way.

I am the King of I-told-you-so but my advice would be to focus on the grandkids and buy the uncle some shorts.

RE: What would you do or say?

Oh Dottie, what an interesting story. I would be out buying shorts for the man too. My answer is in agreement with John. Some people just have to learn the hard way.
I'm still wondering why my new neighbors have cut down every shrub in sight to mere stalks, much less what they did to the existing roses. I guess he's not into curb appeal. Good luck to you in this situation. Sounds like the girl is wearing the pants the uncle should have on!


RE: What would you do or say?

I hear you John and Carla. I just hate to see them give up on what could develop into a lifelong appreciation of nature and growing things because a critical error in having a garden with too little sun.

RE: What would you do or say?

It took me a long time to learn that my sons had the right to pick their own path, easy or difficult. I thought that advice I could give them to make their paths easier would be welcome rather than ignored or even scorned. I try hard never to say I told you so, and lately, as they emerge from from their tortuous paths almost-engineer and almost-nurse now, I have the incredibly sweet taste of hearing 'I guess you told me that, didn't you Mom?' I hope that I will be able to resist opening my too-often-open mouth about their gardens and mates as well. I say relax and be happy that your family is healthy and close-by.

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