Spring Flings, and Love The One You’re With

You guys! Remember the shampoo incident wherein I went to Costco, didn’t buy shampoo because it wasn’t on my list, and then that very night my child informed me that we were out of shampoo, and I discovered I didn’t have any in the pantry, and I had a premenstrually-induced semi-breakdown? The other morning I was drinking my first of many cups of coffee when my husband called to me from the bathroom. He was in the shower and I hurried in to see what was so urgent. Was he okay? Was he having a heart attack? No, he just wanted to let me know that we were getting low on shampoo and could I check to see if we had more, if not, could we put it on the Costco list? He didn’t, he said, want me to get upset again.

He said this while giving me a look that one might give when encountering an armed-and-dangerous, mentally disturbed prisoner on the lam.

Many years ago, we had a rickety wooden deck outside our back door; when Mark was a baby my husband decided to take it out and replant the area with grass. There was a great deal of gravel, but did I mention Mark was a baby? We were quite sleep deprived, so he put top soil over the gravel, planted grass, and regretted it for the next eleven years. The grass always started out the season just fine, but would dry up and go brown once the warm weather hit, and no amount of rain or watering would change that.

My husband talked about digging it up but I confess, I discouraged such action. The affected area was maybe 30 square feet, and I just didn’t feel like it was worth it. Translation: digging out gravel is hard. But this year my husband was determined, and since we have two boys who are – as yet – eager to help out with any and all yardwork, I went out one evening and came home to the three of them digging up the grass. The die was cast, and the next few days, every spare moment was devoted to the Project. I even helped, although my gravel shovelling skills are somewhat suspect.


Many wheelbarrows full of gravel, loam, and sod later…


So that was exciting. The boys and I also bought some more flowers, mainly for the front yard containers. I allowed the children to choose and Jake wanted to buy white geraniums for a particular container, which I gently tried to discourage, as I prefer more colour. He insisted and I capitulated, thinking what the hell, it’s only flowers, and how many more years is he really going to want to be at the garden centre with his mother? It turned out really nicely, as they go with the snowdrop anemones, and will look lovely once the white-and-green variegated hostas come up.


Speaking of hostas, my backyard is south facing; the garden in front of my detached garage is north facing, and gets almost zero sun exposure since the house shades it in the morning, when the north-facing gardens usually get some sun. It’s planted with hostas, and I fill in the spaces with impatiens, and it’s just beautiful – for about three months out of the year. This is the garden that I look at the most often, since it faces my kitchen window, and this is what it currently looks like:


In other words, the least attractive garden is the one I look at the most. I have beautiful colour and plants all over the front and back yards…except there. Tragic!

028 029 buddha flowers osteopermum

Speaking of tragedies, Jake brought home The Big Book Of Why from the library, and he and Mark have been enjoying reading it in the evenings. Mark was deep into one of the “whys” when he asked me who was William Shakespeare? Well! I chatted on and on about playwrights and the Elizabethan era, and then talked about some of his plays. “Have you heard of Romeo and Juliet?” I asked, and when the boys said they’d heard of it, but didn’t know anything about it, I gave them a brief synopsis. At the conclusion, they were silent for a minute.

Jake then blurted out, “That is SO STUPID. I mean, the parents are jerks so you KILL YOURSELF? That’s so dumb! Why don’t you just get a new girlfriend? There’s so many girls!”

I sense that we do NOT have a future playwright in our house. I also sense that Jake is going to be a “love the one you’re with” sort of guy.


  1. Well, that’s probably healthier for him anyway. Less teen angst, not that my teenage boy has any angst about girls (or boys) yet. 14 and no interest.

  2. What beautiful flowers! We really need to at least plant some shrubs so the front of our house isn’t so bare and sad.

    Kids today don’t see Romeo and Juliet as romantic figures. The high schoolers say the same thing as Jake. I suppose it’s good that they don’t romanticize dying for love. Interestingly enough, Shakespeare was actually making fun of the idea of love at first sight, etc. Romeo especially is an idiot–one minute he’s in love with Rosaline, then he forgets her as soon as he sees Juliet.

  3. Aw, your garden is so pretty! I find the older I get, the more I love flowers. Someday I’ll be one of those grandmothers with houses full of Everything Floral. Good times.

    For the empty garden – maybe consider a rock garden instead? Some really pretty rocks? Plus a bird bath? Statues of Athena? 🙂 Every time we go to the garden centre my sparkle-loving daughter just about faints from the beauty of all the stones/glass/beaded things they sell there.

    • The problem is I have gorgeous hostas that grow there – but they are only up in June and – this being Calgary – are dead at the first frost in September. They’re gorgeous while they last…but maybe I do need to up my game a little. It’s depressing to look at!

  4. bibliomama2 says

    The white geraniums with the anemones are gorgeous. I hate hostas, though – sorry. They look like triffids or aliens to me. My stupid dog ate my gerber daisies. I’m fighting a losing battle.

Leave a Reply