“A Husband Gone Wild in the Garden”


…and the gardener-wife who just "kept mum" and LET HIM DO IT.
Why-oh-why?  That’s my question about this bizarro story in the Style
Section of the Washington Post (out from the usual home and garden
ghetto).  But really, read it and imagine, if you will, allowing your spouse to invade your garden ("my pride and joy") and basically
destroy it.  All because well, you’d been nagging for him to help out and he’s finally getting involved.  Trouble is, this passive-aggressive boob is helping out by doing everything his way and he’s following advice he’s getting from – get this – gardening magazines and TV shows! One example is the husband’s
assertion, after buying half-dead roses, that with "a bit of fertilizer
they’ll perk right up."  Uh, no they won’t.

As shocking as this story is, at least it started off on a positive
note:  "Gardening is in." But it’s downhill from there for any
reader with an ounce of concern for gardens – or marriages.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.  Link.


  1. I also found this article weirdly unpleasant. After I read the GR posting I decided that possibly reading the article in the flesh, from newsprint, might provide more clues to the writer’s true feelings. But the accompanying illustration does indeed suggest that the author finds this all rather amusing. In fact, I suspect that someone at the WaPo just decided to put a bit of fiction in their Style Plus section. I simply do not believe that a gardener would be so sanguine about having his or her entire garden “re-arranged.” I speak as the wife of a small-time gardener. I wouldn’t even rake a leaf in his garden beds w/o asking first.

  2. I read this yesterday when my WaPo arrived and noted it is a “Style Plus” personal essay – NOT in the Home or Garden section. Meant to be humorous and obviously that is a matter of taste. I didn’t laugh at it – but I did find the “headless bird topiary” mildly amusing picturing the passing neighbors trying to figure out what was up with that deformed bush.

  3. You’d really have to be a doormat to let this happen to you. I’m pretty laid back (DH is the high maintenance one) but I’d come totally uncorked and demand approval of every single move he made if he started taking an interest in my garden.

  4. Passive-aggressive only begins to describe this guy. DH would be dead meat if he ever did anything like that. But he never would, because he actually respects me, unlike the way the guy in the article treats his wife. Like the other commenters, I had a real feeling of unease while reading the story.

  5. It’s called respect. When my wife and I had a small house we divided the gardens beds and a few we co-managed. We now have a larger place, which of course means more to garden. This time we’ve split the areas into ornamental and food production. We each make very few suggestions, usually regarding “What do you think about getting one of these?” and truly listen to each other. Aretha Franklin’s music gets played quite often.

  6. Rant!

    Why do folks IMMEDIATELY put fertilizer on an ailing plant?

    It’s insane, and it’s pretty much instant death to the plant.

    I am a member of the LiveJournal Garden community, and these posters always come for advice AFTER they’ve done the damage. “I have a plant that isn’t doing well. I gave it fertilizer this morning…” Like it’s some kind of caster oil or something. Hells. Castor oil might do less damage.


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