Friday, June 12, 2015

The Bittermans Gardening

As you know, Herk and Tildy Bitterman live right next door.  Now my lanai is a mere twenty feet from their picket fence and while I would never intentionally eavesdrop, sometimes I cannot help but overhear their banter.

Inside their fence and along the edge of their sun room are flower beds in which they attempt to keep some semblance of order:  along the fence, tomatoes one year, morning glories another.  Along the foundation of the sun room, cedar mulch.  Now the mulch is a couple of years old and the bed has been overrun with weeds.

I see Herkimer with trowel in hand headed toward the bed and I hear Tildy holler from the sun room, "I don't want that clover dug up.  It is pretty and it looks better than bare earth."

"That," I hear Herk respond, "is oxalis.  It is a voracious weed and I want it gone."

Sometime later Herk has moved on to his tomato bed and I hear him call to Tildy.  "Look, I left the clover."  I look and behold there is a sprig of clover with two or three stems, perhaps six or seven inches high in the clean bed where he had been working.  He goes on working the soil around his tomato plants.

Presently Tildy comes storming into the yard.  She marches purposefully to the clover plant, grasps it and yanks.  It comes free of the soil, of course, and she throws it over the fence.  "I am mad at you," she hollers as she stomps back into the house.

Time lapse.

The next afternoon, Tildy and Herk are in the yard carefully setting the pretty plants from a flat of perennials into the beds Herk prepared the day before.  Working together, smiling, laughing, seemingly as happy as two gallinules in a marsh.

Finished product looks really nice, too.

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