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  • Ashley

How DOES your garden grow?

Hello, and happy Tuesday!


I hope your Mother's Day was just as you hoped it would be, whether that was spending the day with your bundles of joy, brunching in your Sunday finest, or being left the hell alone.

All great options.


For my Mother's Day, I had hoped to stay in bed all day binge watching Queer Eye while I consumed my body weight in nachos, but my family woke me up with breakfast and totally adorable hand made cards, so that was pretty ok too.


They're forgiven for dropping the ball on 7:00 am Mexican food.


That reminds me... Alexa, order more Cholula.


I was told that I had options. They could either leave me alone all day, OR we could go shopping. As much as I wanted to point my finger swiftly towards the door and throw them a wide-eyed gaze that said "I love you all very much, but you need to get out", I decided that I do enjoy spending time with my family, and although I knew that 73% of the trip would be digging frantically in the bottom of the diaper bag for old raisins and fuzzy granola bars to calm the random fits of baby rage, I chose shopping.


After 3 hours of wrangling children into clothing and trying to find shoes that weren't caked in mud, we were out the door to the most frequented and glamorous store for Mother's Day.


Menards.


Yep.


We went home improving.

To the garden center that is, because that's what moms do on Mother's Day.


Yard work.


We braved the crowds, and ended up leaving with 4 trees, 8 flowering shrubs, and some soaker hoses to help combat the devastating effects of Newfoundland pee that has, up 'til now, single handedly destroyed the ecosystem surrounding our home.


Let me explain.


Every year, here's the talk I have with my boys...

Me: Ok, boys. Mom is going to plant a shrub here. (I point to the spot where said plant will go assuming they know what's happening) Don't make it your own personal urinal, ok? Mom would really like to see something bloom this year. OK?

The Boys: *One sits blank faced and one rolls over to show me his belly*

Me: Shit you're cute. Ok, lets just hope for the best *throws back rest of wine. Gets to digging*


Folks, this cycle of insanity has been going for 3 years, and my gardens now resemble the dead, dried up landscaping that would surround a creepy abandoned asylum that serves as the main setting in a Steven King 4 part cable special.


Lifeless shrubs, entangled dried up vines, piles of old crusty gray leaves and a shriveled, squishy pumpkin from last Fall, a bone or two, a deranged, howling patient running across the lawn... You know the look.


That's what my landscaping currently resembles, folks. A sad memory of gardens past. On occasion, I will spot a tiny green shoot or bud, trying desperately to pull nutrients up through the depleted soil and into the desiccated gray stalks of whatever that plant was. But then, without fail, Arlo (the younger, dumber and bigger of my two boys) will sense my hope from across the yard, lock big droopy eyes with me, and will then barrel across the yard at Arlo miles-per-hour and bulldoze me into the fragile plant I was just gazing at hopefully.


Thanks buddy. Its dead again.


You should see the Magnolia tree we planted 3 years ago. It's now a single branch sticking out of the ground with 3 sad but determined blooms at the top. Amos was the guilty party on that one. He got so excited that I was smelling a flower that he, too, wanted to smell the flower. He jumped up on the tree, and came crashing right back down through the middle of it, cracking it in half down the center like a fat, slobbery, hairy bolt of lighting through a mighty Oak.


Anyways, soaker hoses.


We bought 200 feet of them to weave in, out, and around all our new shrubs to help dilute the effects of our dog's acid tinkle, and to help our new greenery thrive on our busy little acreage, where, sometimes, and I'm not pointing fingers here, but sometimes, plants can go neglected. I can't blame it ALL on the dogs.


Sigh. *Hangs head*


I have been known (precisely twice in my life) to bust out the garden gloves, the hand tool set, the knee pads and the floppy sun hat, and really channel my inner master gardener. I dig holes twice the size, break up root balls, fertilize, water with a slow steady trickle for a "deep soak", take Ph balances, and spread out the perfect layer of lovely, fresh cypress mulch, 3" thick, just like the peanut butter on my kids samiches.


You know you've made it people when the PB&J has weight to it, and the mulch be poppin'.


But then events completely out of my control (12 season Netflix bender) happen, and basically, I wake up 4 months later in a completely different season and realize I never watered the plants. Crap.


So, yeah, I can't blame it all on the dogs.


I'm going to wrap it up now, and if I didn't lose you back at the second or third reference to dog pee, then you're really a trooper, so here is my long awaited point, and ultimate conclusion of today's discussion in Blog Post Deux.


1. If you want gorgeous gardens, don't have big dumb dogs.

2. If you want big dumb dogs, don't plan on gorgeous gardens.

3. If you refuse to listen to reason and get both, big dumb dogs and gardens, invest in soaker hoses and plan to dedicate at least a couple hours a week to landscape maintenance to avoid the previously mentioned abandoned asylum look.

4. If you wake up 4 months later, look out your window and realize you've forgotten the whole maintenance suggestion as you observe the dogs peeing on the now dead shrubs, and your screaming toddler streaking across the front yard with her diaper in one hand and a box of fruit snacks in the other, just remember this important bit of information...



Salt Creek Mercantile sells artificial floral.




And, Steven King is stupid rich, so maybe the abandoned asylum look isn't so bad after all.