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This picture was taken on Friday of this week.
For the past eighteen years, a lone gladiola has gotten the better of me-- Some would even say it's kicked my butt.
It's not that I have anything against gladiolas, I don't really, it's just that they are not my favorite flower and not what I had planned for our backyard garden circling the pool. The gladiola was, apparently, a favorite of the gardener we inherited when hubby bought our house.
Back then, I was "just a girlfriend" as the gardener used to refer to me as. That repeated comment, to my face I might add, led to his name-- Heir Gardener. He was a cranky old geezer who used to cuss me out under his breath in German, his native language. He'd been tending the garden for gawd knows how long for the previous home owner and gave me nothing but attitude whenever he saw me.
Why Heir Gardener had it in for me from day one I'll never understand, but I think the straw that finally broke the camel's back and soured our relationship forever-- was when hubby had the pool and deck installed resulting in "his garden" being disturbed and many of his plants, including a ratty looking bonsai tree that he'd babied for years, being removed. And trust me, it was one ugly bonsai.
The pool and deck was a big deal for my then boyfriend who asked me to spearhead the yard makeover. I love to garden and gathered my coveted back issues of Sunset Magazine, scouring the pages for the perfect examples of what the pool area should look like when newly planted.
I didn't want there to be any misunderstanding between Heir Gardner and me so when Beloved and I decided on the dozen plants for the yard, we provided him with a detailed drawing-- a blueprint so to speak, of which plants went where along with magazine photo examples of the look we wanted. Beloved and I both presented the design ideas to Heir Gardener so he knew we meant business. Or maybe not.
He sneered and complained and nearly flat-out fainted when told the bonsai tree was history and needed to be removed, and he hated our flower choices. Heir Gardener was one unhappy camper and stormed out of the meeting with a "whatever" wave of his hand.
A few weeks later, I arrive at the house after work one night to see the yard had been planted-- with absolutely nothing we had discussed. Days later when I asked Heir Gardener what happened to our plan, he assured me that after a season of growth it would look exactly the way I wanted.
I must have been wearing my stupid face that day because I knew better. The reality was he did it his way, not ours.
Steam was coming out of my ears by the time Beloved returned home from the office to see the "planting", and I use that term loosely, because when we received the bill for the "flowers", Heir Gardener had purchased exactly one flat of them-- no where near enough for a yard of our size. Remember, we were starting from scratch and requested twelve different types of plants and flowers!
Fast forward to Beloved feeling sorry for Heir Gardener because he was so old and figured he'd be retiring soon. So, I washed my hands of the project, because as stated, I was "just the girlfriend" back then and moved on.
When spring arrived several months later, up popped four gladiolas which were absolutely not on the original plant list. They stuck out like a sore thumb next to the swimming pool with even Beloved laughing, because what do you do with just four gladiolas and why did the gardener plant them in the first place!
Beloved helped me dig them up and replaced them with a large bunch of tiger lilies-- a flower on our original plant list. Heir Gardener was not amused and we *ahem* parted ways shortly thereafter.
Once again Beloved requested my assistance (begging and pleading was required) and we did the planting ourselves, making countless trips to the nursery, followed by many, many weekends of planting to bring the garden to the state we had desired. We still laugh about the original "one flat" of flowers which were so pathetic I never even took a picture for the scrapbook.
But since that first Spring way back when, every stinking year, I've pulled up that one remaining gladiola. I've stomped on it, chopped it, hacked it, sprayed it and thought I'd rid the garden of it once and for all. But that lone gladiola still sprouts, teasing and taunting me with it's glorious colors.
This winter, when we dug up the garden to repair our sinking pool and deck, I thought-- FINALLY, that damn gladiola will be history. After all, most of the plants were removed, dirt came and went and came again, and finally new planting was complete. No way that gladiola could survive.
It's back in full bloom. So this summer, after years of gardening angst, today I officially surrender. The gladiola wins.
How does your garden grow?
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Welcome to www.TheFiftyFactor.com - Joanna Jenkins