When it comes to purchasing things I “need” for the lawn and garden, nearly two decades of experience has taught me that the discussion must be thought out well in advance to broaching the topic with my wife. There will be questions of need and priorities and justifications of expenses and expenditures that would rival a congressional budget hearing.
This is done for my own good I know- to protect myself from the draw of the home and garden stores where it seems most of the cashiers know me on a first name basis. The Home Depot is not known for this personalized service in most places probably, but since we live in a small town area you still know most the people working there at least by sight and it is a friendly community.
This level of helpfulness caused an issue however when after spending a couple weeks looking at the various display sheds and then wandering up and down the lumber aisles doing mental calculations of building one myself or purchasing the shed as kit or even having them come set it up completely. My wife went with me to pick up some Japanese beetle traps when the helpful cashier asked me in front of my wife if I had decided yet on if I was going to purchase a shed or build it myself.
The ride home was spent explaining the many reasons I needed a shed- not the smallest of which was the fact our 2 car garage now only fits one vehicle due to the surplus of gardening supplies and equipment I have. The time savings of not having to carry all the gardening stuff from the front of the house to rear each time it was needed and how much more productive I could be if all was ready at hand to use. Addressing safety concerns of having a lockable shed where sharp tools and the occasional storage of toxic insect sprays could keep the grandchildren safer someday.
The topic however had been doomed by the pesky Japanese beetles in my garden that instigated the trip resulting in the untimely introduction of the shed topic. Whoever said that wives love surprises has not met my wife. My reasoning and arguments were sound and logical. We needed the additional storage space and a relatively small shed would alleviate storage issues and also be much more convenient. From the look on my wife’s face, it was clear the entire conversation that there would be no way I was either purchasing or building a shed this summer. Resigned to the fact it would need wait another year I was quietly driving the rest of the way home when my wife noticed a small garden shed on the side of a lawn with flowerboxes on the small windows.
After a short story from her talking about how she used to help her mother plant the flower boxes and her chore as a child had been to water the flowers in the window boxes she asked “Can you build flower boxes like those for your shed?”
This is why I love to garden. I can have reasons for days about growing our own vegetables and herbs, and how much nice it was to have fresh cut flowers without need to purchase. I can discuss the value of organic, and how it helps the environment. That all pales in comparison to the simple happy memories and enjoyment we get from our gardens. This is how I learnt that the logical choices for the shed were of no use, but flower boxes on windows made all the difference.