The one plant I really wanted in the backyard was a peony plant. The yard could be bald and riddled with weeds as long as I had my peony plant. I didn’t care if it was pink when I really wanted red. I didn’t care if it was a double bloom when I really wanted a single bloom, like a Japanese variety. I just wanted some kind of peony in my yard.
Spring came about and lo and behold, the local Home Depot was actually selling roots. I bought a bag that contained three. Two of them did not look promising, but the 3rd I actually planted. I honestly did not expect anything to happen. The directions that came with the roots were minimal at best. “Insert into ground. Add water. Wait.”
About six weeks later, to my astonishment, small green shoots had sprouted. It was May at that point and I figured this would be a long and slow transformation. I knew that it was not going to produce blooms for me this year, not even next year. Beauty takes time!
I took my boyfriend into the yard and pointed at the peony root and its rather pathetic looking green sprout poking out of the earth.
“Dearest,” said I. [Okay, I didn’t say that. I probably called him “Babe.”] “I know this looks like nothing, this stumpy thing. But it’s a peony root I planted. And these are its shoots. Do not mistake it for a weed, because it isn’t.” I waved my hands around the sprout emphatically. Le boyfriend considered it for a few moments, stuck out his lower lip in deep thought. “Okay.”
Last week in a gardening fury in which weeds came to rapid and violent uprootings, Le boyfriend was also hard at work in the yard. I forget exactly what he was doing. The sod had already been laid down and I was weeding. I think he was obsessing, really. He was being annoying so I stayed out of his path as I murdered more weeds.
The following day I went to check on my peony. I checked on it every few days to gauge its progress. It hadn’t done much else beyond the one little sprouting but I was encouraged. Out I went into the yard to check on it and I had to stifle a scream in my throat. The pathetic little sprout had been violently yanked out of the soil and left, heartlessly, next to the little root stump from whence it came.
I actually broke down and cried. I was really upset. Idiot boyfriend expressed his regret that he was only trying to help. “Leave the weeds to me!” I poked him in the chest with each syllable.
I gently put the sprouts back into the soil in the hope they might re-root. I’d say its chances are slim.
This weekend the project involved removing the fence. Again, I stayed away from this project. When Chris gets into a project he can be a mean SOB. Best thing to do is steer clear.
I stepped into the yard to admire the finished job and nearly screamed again. The fence had been rolled up and dumped on top of the sprouts that had been yanked out the week before. That I had replanted. With the hope it would spring again.
My idiot boyfriend is an herbicidist. Plantacidist. You get the drift. He is a plant murderer.
My yard apparently needs to be marked up to look like a Demilitarized Zone. North and South Korea. The Gaza Strip. Contested land!
Since I don’t have expensive and sophisticated photo manipulation software, you’ll have to look at this long and hard to see the pathetic little sprout being protected by my platoon. This is the sprout after a heavy fence had been dumped on it.