I suspect most writers are controllers. We like the idea of manipulating setting, characters, and action in our novels. Even though critique groups, beta readers and editors suggest changes in our stories, indie authors get to have the last word about the shape and substance of our books.
In most other aspects of my life, I like to be in charge, so when I decided to let a landscaper prune my fruit trees and trim up the bushes in my yard, I had/have/will have moments of doubt. Except for weekly lawn mowings, I have been in charge of yard work for the last forty-some years. I’ve done all the chores on our California half acre, our second home for seventeen years.
(I'm so proud of my orange tree, which produces enough delicious fruit for us and all our friends!)
But my garden has aged with me. Old trees and bushes have lost their luster or grown too large for the space and must be removed. One of my favorite trees is dying; another is sending up too many root sprouts for me to eradicate.
(These Santa Rosa plums are so sweet and juicy. I have two Santa Rosa trees in my yard; two apricots, two limes, an Asian pear, and an apple)
Today, the landscaper takes over. He’s already pruned my fruit trees (he’s an arborist, I made sure); now he and his helper are going to trim up the yard. This summer, he’s going to redo the front yard (less lawn and more drought tolerant plants); in the fall, he’ll take on the back yard. Expensive, but necessary to keep our property spiffy.
Big step for me. How about you? Any other gardeners out there who have loved it and left it?
Six Suspense Novels Spiked with Romance
Unfortunately, I missed out on the gardener gene. I always say my mother could plant a popsicle stick in the ground and it would sprout leaves. I envy your abundance out there. Beautiful!
Like, Margo, the "gardener gene" passed me by. My poinsetta plant is silk to ensure it lasts the Holiday season (smile).
Sorry, Rolynn...I'm another who is gardening-challenged. Although for years I grew a vegetable garden in New Jersey (the Garden State!), since moving to Virginia I've become known as "Death to Plants." I've pretty much given up. We had a landscaper redo our the front "flower bed" this fall (we live in a townhome) and he said something to me like, "When you get ready to remulch..." I never heard what came after. Inside my head I was shrieking What do you mean, REmulch??!! Your yard is so lovely. It must be wonderful having your private supply of oranges, plums, etc. I used to do that with our veggies--fresh corn off the stalk, yum. Enjoy the extra time!
I loved gardening for many years. The last home we owned in MN had a beautiful garden in the back and a corner one in the front. They were my babies. I added, moved plants around, expanded. I've missed that house for a couple of reasons and my gardens were one of them. When we left there and moved to the property in AZ, we started a small farm. My son was the farmer, but I took an active part in keeping our gardens thriving...but I was not in charge. It was a good transition for me because when we sold the farm, my gardening days ended. The RV life, year round, keeps my fingernails cleaner!
Margo, Angela, and Leah, I wonder if the love of gardening comes from family? My grandmother had a huge garden (ground cherries, raspberries, strawberries, as well as vegetables). She canned like a crazy woman, too. My mother got some of that, but my sister went whole hog and finally got a master gardener certificate. Two of my brothers are dirt-digger/planters, too. For some reason, I'm worried this interest isn't passing along. I enjoy watching the Kilchers on the TV program, the Alaska Frontier. Definitely a family close to nature-brings fond memories of my grandmother's persistence.
Brenda, you had quite an adventure there, didn't you? To manage the commercial level of planting/tending/harvesting...wow! I remember you're the garlic queen! And now your RV life has given your green thumb a rest. I used to have a vision of old folks puttering in a garden, but now that I know the energy it takes, (weeding, pruning, hedging!), I realize it's time to put some of those tools aside, especially if I want to write more. I will miss it.
That Orange tree is beautiful! I can barely keep my two house plants (used to have three) alive. My yard is full of snow all winter and thimbleberry bushes the other six months. I'm okay with that!
I did just the opposite. I didn't garden for years then needed a way to unwind and planted a perennial garden. the first couple years were tough, getting rid of weeds and planting. Now its easier, but I do need healp with the heavy work. Sigh.
Our house was under construction when we bought it. I planted the trees and shrubbery except for the oak the contractor put in the corner of our yard as he did everyone else's. We have a yard man who takes care of it all now and mows for us. Calvin can no longer do it and I'm too busy writing. And my knees cry so when I plant annuals in my flower beds.
Jannine, you're funny. Lots of my midwest (lots of snow) friends, are extra garden-centered because the snow buries their garden gems and they can't wait to see them leaf/flower again. You, my dear, are not so inclined, I see :-)
Barbara, I share that pleasure you experience with gardening. Since I trust my gardener, I'll still get to appreciate the 'fruits' of our combined labors overtime. It feels funny to pay someone to do it after all these years; kind of decadent, like I'm mistress of the manor. Weird.
Vonnie, promise you won't laugh when I tell you I NEVER get down on my knees...ahem...when I'm gardening. Like my grandmother, the gardener, I'm a bend over gal...not pretty, I know, but what I'm comfortable with. Since I had my knees replaced, I HATE to kneel. My knees feel funny...not like they're mine. Anyway, I'm letting my gardener do the work from now on. I'll pick the fruit, of course. No kneeling involved with that!
I'm an avid gardener--that's one of the reasons we moved to California--but we never trim our own trees. I have a wonderful tree crew that comes every spring to shape things up, especially my olive tree. After we bought the house, I had them clear the lot, then I hired a landscaper to start a waterwise garden from scratch--no lawn. So far, I've been able to do everything else myself. We'll see howlong that lasts!
I'm with you gardening-challenged ladies. I have the thumb of death. I once killed a cactus. So... But, I admire those who have and care for beautiful gardens!
Alison, here I thought you concentrated on the mini-gardens...and you do both big and small! Yup, my days of climbing ladders and having falling branches jab me...are over. I probably should have made that switch earlier, but I enjoyed the art of it. I do have a horse trough where I'll plant lettuce...that's going to be my only 'garden' now.
Alicia, you make me laugh. I swear, no one could kill a snake plant or a philodendron. Could they?
I grew up vegetable gardening. Dad insisted, and I learned more than I ever wanted to know. But we had fresh beans, corn, & tomatoes during the season. So much work I vowed never to garden again. So what happened when we owned our 1st house? I planted vegetables--not corn in a subdivision lot, though. LOL I took after my mom and planted flowers and trees. I looked forward to the arrival of the Burpee catalog. When we had to leave that house (and subsequent others) I took some of my plants with me while leaving the rest for the new owners to enjoy. I've had lovely gardens until recently. With both knees replaced, I can't kneel and bending over hurts my back too much. When we moved to our current house, I only brought a few plants and Hubs planted them. Mulch cuts down on the weeds and I'm careful not to buy too many new plants. We had the nursery plant the 2 shade trees. Even Hubs drew the line at that. I miss working in the garden, but unfortunately I know my limits.
I meant to say (you know memory is the 1st to go--or is it the 2nd? I can't remember.) that I love the pictures you posted. How wonderful to have fresh fruit right off the limb.
Diane, thanks for your comment on my fruit trees. Wish you were nearby so I could bake you my killer orange pound cake. Oh my! Your upbringing sounds so much like mine! You and I are the ones in the grocery store seeking the freshest veggies and fruit...right?!
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