CEO, CFO, COO of the Garden

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I discovered another reason I love to garden. Nobody tells me what to do. No one in my family really gives a bee’s butt about what I do out there in the yard. They don’t tend to offer advice because they know nothing about the magic plant universe. I am never second guessed, because they aren’t consulted. I succeed and fail all by myself. I get no opinions unless I ask for them. If I don’t like the opinion I asked for, I ignore it.

I just spent almost two weeks in Tampa with three alpha males in one house. My father-in-law, my husband, and my son. They are entirely different personalities but share a strong genetic trait. They like control. And they never hesitate to exert it. And if it weren’t patently obvious by the way I wrote the first paragraph, so do I.

If you do the math, my son inherited the control-gene, times two. So you could argue that I have more like 4 alpha males in one house. Count the strong-willed cat and you have four and a half. So are you getting the picture here? Have you ever seen a company with four CEO’s? Five counting me. Our organizational chart is pretty top heavy.

Since our son is my technological guru and my site administrator, he has the power to change every word I write here (“Hi mom” -Brad). But I can say with total conviction, that he is the one person who’s opinion I consider if I have a design dilemma, because he also inherited crazy good creative skills. He’s picky. But while he’s my strongest critic, he’s hands-off in the garden. I rule the plant kingdom.

This past week as CEO was an easy one. I trimmed 3 hearty neighbor-blocking Ligustrum trees. I sawed off a few dozen giant palm fronds and trimmed shrubs. We pay an HOA fee for this service, but I don’t like the way they do it, so the workers are banned from our yard. I painted a pretty little sign with clear instructions. Controlling. Yep. Perfectionist, we’ve established that.

Other items on my CEO job description this week: I finally staked a kumquat tree that was leaning cockeyed for the past year. Planted begonias. Pulled weeds. Deadheaded bird-of-paradise. Spread 9 bags of mulch. (Only 24 more to go).  Not once did anyone tell me what, when, where or how to do it. Well not quite. When my husband was leaving the house he did tell me to ask for my son’s help when I was on the ladder with my ten foot pole hedger. I categorize that as safety advise not garden advise. But I still ignored it. It was out in the garden, so technically, my boardroom. Besides, when I ask for help I have to wait for that help to comply. Or I have to listen while the help says; It’s too hot, too cold, too buggy, too dirty, too heavy, too hard.

I suppose I can’t kid myself. It’s not that I know more, or am superior in all things garden. There’s just no part of the job anyone wants. No one challenges my authority because to do so requires physical labor. I established total dictatorship without having to raise a pruning saw. Which is another reason they don’t tell me what to do. I’m usually carrying sharp instruments.

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