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Me and Mimi in the Garden
by Carl Wayne

I should have known Mimi and I would have trouble seeing everything eye to eye. She's most of a foot shorter than me, and as she likes to point out, about half my weight, or less. She is an only child who is still "petted" by her parents, so since that's all she knows, that's how she treats me, the kids, grandkids, and granddogs. The only improvement I can think of is from the Good Book, where Sarah called Abraham "Lord."

We often cite the Good Book when we think the other one needs it. Mimi keeps an orderly and spotless home, but she doesn't really like yard work. She pointed out that even though Adam lived in an already planted Garden of Eden, he was told to cultivate it. I told her to notice that Adam was given a chance to do it by hisself. But God saw that it was not good and created Eve to give Adam a helping hand. I imagine her first sentence was: "This place is a mess!" Like Eve, Mimi has a fine artistic eye for detail, such as when I am painting or pruning the crape myrtles.

(When but a lad, I wondered what it meant when Adam knew Eve and she bore a son she named Cain. I asked Daddy, who told me I would understand someday. Well I do now. You'll never really know her until you've lived with a pregnant woman, who believes this is all your fault.)

Actually, Mimi is a big help in our yard. She gets to use the rake and hedge trimmers, while I have to pull the yard cart. I open bags of mulch for her, and I keep her hoe sharpened. I have to admit she's an expert on deadheading hydrangeas and my patriotic petunias. She makes it look easy, when otherwise I would be huffing and puffing and straightening up to stretch my back every few minutes.

She is not much on technical terms, calling my special bird habitat "that trash pile," and calling my compost heap a "rat's nest." Even my bat box is "that thing." She did restack my bird habitat for me, the only problem was she stacked it beside the curb, and it disappeared. I wonder if someone stole it.

Our gardening is a team effort; I could never do it by myself. Many hands make little work. Two people working together can prepare a flower bed, mix in fertilizer, open the holes, plant the seedlings, and water them in less than half the time one person could do it alone, and spreading the 7' X 20' bird netting is an impossible one person job.

I am convinced every couple considering marriage should take a canoe trip together. Your relationship is magnified on the river. There can only be one captain at a time. Cooperation is critical. We went canoeing on the Tennessee Buffalo River with two other couples. One couple argued all the way down the river. Our trip was a happy trip . . . and so is our gardening together.


Carl Wayne tells us about himself:
"I write gardening articles for the Collierville, Tennessee, Independent, the Southaven, Mississippi, Press, and Desoto Magazine, all from a Southern perspective. I point out the correct pronunciation of ants (aints) and peonies (peOnies) and advise always to plant hydrangeas on the north side of the house. I've been in software development forty years, the last twenty with a large overnight express delivery company. I have taught computer science as adjunct faculty at local universities over twenty-five years. We have a small farm in Pontotoc County, Mississippi, where we raise a large garden with my in-laws. My in-laws were there when the REA strung the first electric wires in that area. They were killing hogs. That night for supper they had liver and lights."

Write Carl Wayne at this e-mail address: Rows of Buttercups

Read more of Carl Wayne's stories at USADS:
Eco-friendly Gardening: Yes, It's Weeds
Southern Snakes
Laws Hill Fish House

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