Ask a Question forum: How to inspire spouse to garden

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Name: Reid
North Branch, MN (Zone 4b)
Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Anderwood
Jul 18, 2015 10:22 AM CST
Hi! I would love it if my wife was more enthusiastic about gardening. Anything you guys would recommend? Anyone to listen to she would like? Blog? Thanks!
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Jul 18, 2015 10:39 AM CST
Golly. First and foremost, we're not all bitten by the gardening bug. Secondly, if she's amenable to doing any gardening whatsoever, what appeals to her most? Flowers, vegetables? Drifting through a wildflower garden just enjoying the flowers? Cutting flowers to bring indoors? Growing her own tomatoes? Nibbling on strawberries? Creating wildlife (including bees and beneficials) habitats? Designing and growing her own garden beds? Then, what does she dislike most? Weeding? Processing all of the fruits and vegetables? Digging and/or maintenance? Is it a chore? Is it a leisurely pursuit? I think you might need to do some more homework.
Name: Jolana
Mountain City, Tx (Zone 8b)
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froggardener
Jul 18, 2015 12:17 PM CST
Wow, great suggestions!
Gardening is learning, learning, learning. That's the fun of them.
You're always learning !
Helen Mirren
Name: Reid
North Branch, MN (Zone 4b)
Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Anderwood
Jul 18, 2015 5:16 PM CST
I could see her liking square foot gardening. She likes order and beauty, not like hugelkulture and other permaculture methods that I like. I will put in 4x8 bed.
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Jul 18, 2015 6:23 PM CST
This may not be the answer you wanted. Shrug!

I believe that a married couple should have separate interests; each enjoying their own thing. At the end of the day it gives you both something to talk about. Frmo your photos, it looks to me like the children are on board with your love of gardening. Perhaps just knowing that you and the children are enjoying quality time together is joy enough for your spouse.

Keep in mind, this was written by a 'wife' who truly enjoyed all aspects of gardening. I had a husband who loved to wash/clean/polish/oil his motorcycle and his bicycle, taking long, leisurely solitary rides in the country. But he understood me well enough to give me a truck load of horse manure as a gift for Mothers' Day. Lovey dubby
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
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Weedwhacker
Jul 18, 2015 6:48 PM CST
Reid, I totally agree with the above replies...

It really is fun to have a shared interest like gardening (or, I imagine it would be... DH is there for me when it comes to the heavy lifting, serious digging, and bean picking, but he isn't really that interested in gardening per se -- other than eating the stuff, of course!) -- but most of the people I know pretty much think I'm nuts with all my gardening projects so apparently there are a lot of people that just aren't "feelin' it" Hilarious!

I know DH would love me to be more interested in golfing... and I did give it a shot, but golfing tends to be done in the same kind of weather (non-rainy) as gardening, so eventually I just quit altogether and he now happily golfs with his group of guys while I happy plant and dig and pick. My ex-husband really wanted me to be interested in fly fishing for trout... but for some reason wasn't thrilled by the fact that I had more fun poking around in the streams and rivers and identifying the larvae, bugs, frogs and plants than I did actually catching fish.

Has your wife ever said anything to the effect of "I wish I knew more about gardening" ? If not, you can always just come right out and ask if she'd be interested in it, but try to keep in mind that it just isn't something that appeals to everyone. A good friend of mine, who loves to cook and can, once told me that she can't stand "dirt," so she doesn't grow her own tomatoes and peppers to make salsa. Shrug! There's just no explaining it! Smiling
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Name: Jean
Prairieville, LA (Zone 9a)
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Moonhowl
Jul 18, 2015 7:05 PM CST
I would recommend a discussion with her before you start digging. Smiling Should your wife decide she does indeed want to share time in the garden, perhaps since she opts for order and beauty, she may like Parterre or knot gardening. Very structured, formal and can be any size you have space for. It can be composed of a variety of plants/small shrubs/flowers...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parterre

http://www.womansweekly.com/gardening/plan-parterre-garden/

http://www.almanac.com/content/knot-gardens

http://www.hgtv.com/design/outdoor-design/landscaping-and-ha...

And, finally if she enjoys cooking with fresh herbs, perhaps she would enjoy a small herb knot garden.

http://www.gardeningknowhow.com/edible/herbs/hgen/growing-he...
Name: Reid
North Branch, MN (Zone 4b)
Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Anderwood
Jul 18, 2015 8:36 PM CST
Thank You! everyone. You all give good perspectives. She is very supportive of what I do. And loves to cook with what I grow.
Name: Lee-Roy
Bilzen, Belgium (Zone 8a)
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Arico
Jul 19, 2015 6:02 PM CST
I have the same 'problem' at home. He wasn't the first in line when they gave out 'ecological awareness and love of nature', but he still can say what he finds beautiful and what he doesn't.

I know I could never convince him to pick up the pruning sissors to take cuttings; he just isn't that way. All he'll do is mow the lawn or do something when I really want him to do it when I can't, but other than that he's just not interested in it like we are. So, like I can't 'make him' love gardening he can't make me love going to the pub Thumbs down Hilarious!

We all have our interests and I'm afraid you'll have to live with it Big Grin
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the first seed swap Region: United States of America Region: Michigan
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Weedwhacker
Jul 19, 2015 6:23 PM CST
Arico said:So, like I can't 'make him' love gardening he can't make me love going to the pub Thumbs down Hilarious!



I like both of those things ! nodding

"Blessed is he who has learned to laugh at himself, for he shall never cease to be entertained."
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Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
Plant Identifier Garden Sages
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stone
Jul 20, 2015 6:26 AM CST
Some spectacular answers...
I can only add that... Sometimes we need to count our blessings to have an interest that isn't shared.
Sometimes we need the solace of being alone in the garden.

Not sure how to share solace... Bit of a paradox...

Also...

How much space do you have to garden with?

What would happen if the spouse horned in and took the entire thing over, and left you with the project of moving large plants (projects) that didn't need moving... Except to suit somebody else's esthetic?
[Last edited by stone - Jul 20, 2015 6:28 AM (+)]
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Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
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dyzzypyxxy
Jul 20, 2015 9:40 AM CST
So true, stone. We are approaching our 40th anniversary, and I must admit I'm glad for the limited interest my spouse shows in the garden. He is an engineer, and appreciates symmetry and everything orderly. If he were a gardener, we would have mowed lawn with straight edges . . . etc.

A wise friend says there are two types of gardeners, landscapers and collectors. I am a collector, want to grow one of every type of plant and don't really care how neat and tidy the garden is. We have no lawn at all, and I am happy with my messy little private botanical garden.

So DH helps me with projects, builds garden structures for me, buys me any and every tool that might help me to garden, and asks only that he be able to walk through the garden "without any plants touching me". This alone keeps me busy in Florida in the summer, where plants grow a foot overnight . .. so, yes. I'm with stone on the attitude of appreciating your spouse for their individual strengths and talents and being glad for an interest that can be shared but doesn't need to be.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
Rabbit Keeper Critters Allowed Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages
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greene
Jul 20, 2015 10:04 AM CST
Sometimes our neighbors look at us and do not understand what they see.

Example:
In our front yard were two large Maple trees. Due to various changes to our roads/curbing/paving/sewer installation, etc., one of the trees was stressed and needed to be cut down.

One beautiful, sunny day my neighbors were in for quite a bit of entertainment. I used my knowledge of tree climbing and my skill at pruning/cutting/trimming trees; climbed the tree with ropes and a saw and began to systematically remove the tree limb by limb. I was having a blast. To me, this was fun. Hurray!

Under the healthy Maple tree, enjoying the shade, nice and comfortable was my husband. He was busy polishing his motorcycle so it was shiny and beautiful. He was having a blast. To him, it was fun.

I am convinced that the neighbors thought that my husband was in insensitive, lazy, uncaring man and an irresponsible husband to 'force' his wife to do manual labor cutting down a tree. Rolling on the floor laughing Little did they know that I got joy just knowing that each of us, my husband and his shiny motorcycle and me and my soon-to-be-gone tree, each of us was having a blast.

Treasure your spouse and allow her or him to be free. Thumbs up

Oh, I should add that my dad had given me a two-man saw. After my husband was satisfied with the shine on his chrome and after I had removed all the limbs from the Maple tree, we worked in rhythm, (and with no cursing Whistling ), each of us working only on the pull, using the two-man saw to remove the main trunk of the Maple tree. Thumbs up I (yes, me, personally Thumbs up ) replaced the Maple with a Kwanzan Cherry; a Star Magnolia; assorted Hosta, Azalea, annuals, perennials and bulbs; and added some Blue Rug Juniper to cover the tree stump. Guess you can figure out where hubby was while I was doing all that 'work'. Thumbs up Rolling on the floor laughing
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Lee-Roy
Bilzen, Belgium (Zone 8a)
Irises Lilies Hostas Ferns Composter Region: Belgium
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Arico
Jul 20, 2015 10:04 AM CST
Question, I see everyone using 'DH' abbreviation; to refer to their spouse I presume? But what does it mean? *Blush*
Name: Jean
Prairieville, LA (Zone 9a)
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Moonhowl
Jul 20, 2015 10:10 AM CST
DH is Dear Husband (Hubby)..you will notice such abbreviations as DS, DD, DGS DSIL DBIL DB. The first letter is usually meant to be the word Dear. then it is DSon or DSister (usually with a name after the letters) Dgrandson or Dgranddaughter, Dsister in law, Dson in law, etc.
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Jul 20, 2015 10:15 AM CST
DH means dear husband, DW means dear wife, DD means dear daughter, DS means dear son. SO means significant other. Sometimes I get lazy typing. :)
I like your outlook, Stone. You go, Greene.
DH doesn't garden (although I think he'd like to try veggies at some point) but he's the house computer/electronics geek and my biggest enabler. He does like a nice lawn but has acquiesced to my requests that fertilizers be natural (he likes Chicky Doo-Doo) and weed killers be minimal (spot spraying dandelions).
Name: Hetty
Sunny Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
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Dutchlady1
Jul 20, 2015 10:22 AM CST
It doesn't always mean 'Dear' - sometimes it means 'Darn' Hilarious!
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the first seed swap Region: United States of America Region: Michigan
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Weedwhacker
Jul 20, 2015 10:44 AM CST
Although my husband gives me a good bit of help with more strenuous projects, I do sometimes have to remind him that when it comes to the garden I am the "foreman" and he is the "labor." (He was a track foreman for the railroad for 39 years, so he sometimes gets a little confused about that... Rolling on the floor laughing )
"Blessed is he who has learned to laugh at himself, for he shall never cease to be entertained."
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Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Jul 20, 2015 11:08 AM CST
Hilarious!
DH was a steel mill supervisor. Hated it. Has no problem with me calling the shots outdoors (for the most part).
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
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tarev
Jul 20, 2015 11:10 AM CST
My hubby is not into gardening, his likes are more into techy geeky stuff, but he likes to do light carpentry, so I give him assignments to build me this stand or that. That gives him some participation in the garden. Pretty much the garden is my lair. We can easily go into a shouting match because he does not understand the difference in the light needs or watering needs of plants. But he has now learned to appreciate the orchid and plant shows that I attend. At first it was like torture for him, but he has now learned to like them, even reminding me every late winter if we have shows to attend in Spring. Smiling

Sometimes he goes around the garden and then asks me later why this plant is like this or like that..and that is good enough for me, so I can educate him. And one thing happened before when I have to be away for a couple of months, and he was left to handle the garden even with strict instructions not to do this and that, he went his merry way to move the containers, some plants sadly died, and I just have to remind him of that occasion so he has learned not to move my plants without my permission. Will he ever volunteer to do the repotting, that will not happen, it is just not his thing. But at least he leaves them alone now, and my plants are safely growing. Big Grin

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