His, Mine, and Ours

When my son was little, we had more grassy lawn, but there were some parts of the yard that he never played in, so we turned them into garden. Gradually, we turned more and more of our yard into garden and now we have lots to weed and very little to mow.

My husband (EJ) and I have our own gardens that we each claim as “mine.” Of course, there is some overlap–I help him care for his garden, especially when his back is hurting, and I let him plant things in my parts of the gardens if he wants. Basically, what makes them “his” or “mine” is who has creative control over that part of the garden.

I love that my husband and I are compatible and work well together, while also giving each other creative independence. This is true both inside and outside the house. If one of us has a strong “vision” for a room or part of the yard, the other gives that one creative control. We give each other advice or suggestions or help, but the one who has creative control has the final say. We always end up liking what the other one is doing, even though we might have some misgivings at first.

We have different goals, philosophy, and methods of gardening. Although I like a wilder garden, I also like beauty so I garden with a desire to make my garden look nice. My garden areas are those seen by people driving or walking by. Most of my garden areas are shady so I have planted hostas, ferns, astilbe, lilies of the valley, various ground covers, and other shade-loving plants there. I am able to get a few plants to grow that prefer more sun–like roses and day lilies. I have a sunny place, in which I have planted sunflowers and herbs.

My husband has creative control over the back yard, which is sunnier. He prefers to grow veggies, fruits, and berries, most of which need more sun. He cares more about function than form and loves to “re-purpose.” He will plant stuff wherever they get the necessary conditions, even if it looks like an odd place to put them. He will put up old pieces of wire or fencing to protect or help the tender plants climb, even if they aren’t “pretty.” He makes container gardens using tubs or rotting logs and likes to do “companion gardening,” pairing compatible plants together.

Although we have “His” and “Mine” gardens and our gardening approach is different in some ways, we each appreciate and enjoy the other’s differences and garden areas. And, really, we see the whole yard as “Ours.”

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