10 ways to garden with your partner and stay together
from the Seattle PI, 2003
1. Eliminate the competition.
The most important thing is to avoid getting your partner interested in gardening in the first place. Then you get complete control over the garden.
2. Divide and conquer.
If your partner is keen on gardening, divide the garden down the middle. Better yet, try to interest your partner in mowing, weeding and general maintenance. That will free up your time for the really fun stuff.
3. Hoard the good stuff.
Spend at least a quarter of your free time going to nurseries. This will allow you to find those rare and attractive plants that will make your side of the garden look better than your partner's. Don't even hope to have any money saved to see you through your golden years.
4. Avoid the cutting edge.
Hide pruning shears from your partner until he or she promises not to turn any more plants into balls and doughnuts.
5. Don't throw the rocks.
Use super huge boulders in the garden. There are two ways to do this: Have them delivered and placed by the quarry where you bought them, or rent a truck and a backhoe. The backhoe method is much more fun, but remember: Place the rock in the garden, not through the side of the house, particularly if your partner is inside.
6. Secretly encourage sharing.
Use your partner's gardening tools with reckless abandon, but only when he or she is not home. Get them as dirty as you like, but wipe the evidence away before your sweetie comes home.
7. Subtle is good.
Enlarge your garden space by chipping away at the lawn. Do this by removing a few feet of turf at a time, and quickly filling in the new garden space with relatively mature plants. Hopefully he or she will not notice until the next time you set up the croquet course.
8. Acquire new lands.
Be quick to search for and claim new areas that become open. While my wife was away one weekend, I dug out a large camellia that she wanted removed. She was delighted until she realized that I had already filled the entire area with my new acquisitions.
9. Don't overlook concrete.
Cram every open space with containers before your partner has the same idea. That will give you somewhere to plant all of those incredible rarities that you couldn't resist buying and have absolutely no space for in the garden. Don't expect to ever park in the driveway again.
10. Claim bragging rights.
When neighbors and friends come over, lead them to your garden areas and wax poetic over the design, plant combinations and rare treasures. Be sure to denigrate your partner's side, particularly if it is gaining more compliments than yours.
If you follow these tips, don't throw away the marriage counselor's phone number. You will certainly need it soon!
-- Ciscoe Morris