As I stood and looked at my berry bushes this morning, I found myself smiling. I looked at the trellis my husband and I built together and I pulled my fingers across the brick edging he had laid on the morning of his birthday.
My husband has planted a vegetable garden before. He’s a practical guy and growing your own vegetables just makes sense. I on the other hand had never planted a single vegetable before I met him. Flowers – that’s where my passion lies.
Yet when we first found ourselves gardening together, we found that his practical side made room for beauty and my esthetic side made room for planting something that had function beyond being pleasing to the eye.
When we walk through our garden together, and it is very much a work in progress, it brings me joy. It brings the kind of smile to my face that signifies guilty pleasure. This garden has become so much more than the berry bushes, flowers, trees and vegetables that we had planted in it.
It represents countless hours of swinging a pick axe to dig holes deep enough to plant trees. It tells of Sunday afternoon strolls through nurseries and planning and discussing what we want. It whispers of negotiating between two different personalities, of give and take, to find that balance between him and me that’s us.
I look around and sometimes I don’t even know if my husband has done all this work because he has learned to love gardening the way I do, or if he just does it because it brings me joy. Either way, I know that he gets me. He understands that weeding our rockery and breaking dead flowers out of the flower pots, and even mowing the lawn is therapy to my soul.
All those hours of gardening…hours that turned into days, weeks and even months of work, had forged a closeness that is hard to explain.
Sometimes the work was fun, sometimes it was backbreaking frustration, but we shared it. All of it.
In a way our garden has become symbolic of our relationship. Giving, taking, lovingly and gladly sacrificing to make it all grow.