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The Homeowners Column
What not to say to a gardener
State Master Gardener Coordinator
Relationship books extol the virtues of sharing words of praise with your loved ones such as "You look particularly nice today" or "I love the way the light reflects off your bald spot." If your loved one is a gardener, I offer a few other phrases: "That new flower bed is such a welcome retreat" or maybe something as simple as "I love having fresh lettuce from the garden." A simple phrase of praise goes a long way with a gardener. However words of disparagement have sharp points and the daggers of denigration may not be obvious to the orator. So if you have a loved one that is a gardener and you want to stay together to enjoy another Valentines' Day, here is what not to say to your plant-lovin', garden-lovin' lover:
"I think your garden was prettier last year."
"Don't you have enough plants?"
"Your friend Martha's tomatoes taste better."
"Is it normal for the potatoes to have a cellulite problem?"
"It looks like the carrots went on an acid trip."
"I think you need to get a new hen to lay your eggplants."
"Are you sure these are the same green beans my dad grew?"
"Didn't the last plant in that spot die?"
"I could have sworn you told me those were weeds."
"I used your pruners to cut PVC pipe. I hope that's ok."
"Isn't it cheaper to buy tomatoes at the grocery store? "
"What's the big deal? It's just dirt!"
"Are the strawberries supposed to be that little?"
"Did it look like that in the catalog?"
"Why do you need 6 kinds of tomatoes? They all taste the same."
"Good news honey. The dog just dug you a new flower bed."
"Surprise, I cleaned the garden for you. Here are all your plant labels."
"I was afraid the lone peach was going to fall off, so I ate it."
"Hey honey I might have mixed up the sprayer for insecticide with the sprayer for herbicide. That won't hurt the roses. Will it?"
"You might notice the rhododendrons are just a bit shorter than they used to be… You know it wasn't really my fault: the lawn mower is possessed by a plant-hating demon."
"That's a flower? It looks like a weed."
"I think concrete comes in shades of green."
"Good news honey. The rabbits have taken care of all your rose pruning chores."
"Zucchini for dinner?... Again?"
This Valentine's Day hug your gardener, smile when they share plans for this year's garden and always let them be the first to read garden catalogs. And remember, "I garden, therefore I am."