Thursday, May 23, 2013

Big Plans, Little Spaces

"I want the Pétanque court here," I said waving my hand at the front yard.
"Uh-huh," Mr Wonderful said beside me.
"And the garden beds here, here, here and... here."
"Uh-huh."
"And the fruit trees--"
"Where does the airplane runway go?"


Mr. Wonderful had a great sense of humor. Often his jokes had me laughing so hard I'd forget to breathe and just snort. And his impressions! You should hear his Robert De Niro--"Are you talking to me? Are you TALKING to ME?" Wow. It was like being married to a taxi-driving, raging-bull, mobster with a heart of gold-en cannoli. 

But this time his comedic comment didn't tickle my funny bone. In other words: there weren't any snorts.

Maybe his comment wasn't funny because he was doubting me. No one likes to be doubted, especially people taking a big risk like the Wright Brothers, Neil Armstrong and George Washington. Ripping out my grass and planting California natives was as bold as creating the first plane, flying to the moon and creating a new country. Kind of. 

Maybe my spouse's comment wasn't funny because he thought I hadn't thought this through--I thought. Months ago I took the lead on this turf-less garden project and immediately dove into researching plants, visiting nurseries and talking to green thumb experts about what to plant in our corner of paradise. I knew what I wanted and had it all planned out of where every single plant would go. Kind of.

Maybe my husband's comment wasn't funny because he didn't feel involved. We had renovated so much of the house's interior together--as a team--but now with this garden project I was doing all the heavy-lifting. Which meant I had to include him so he and I were functioning like a well-oiled team. It would be like he was Joey LaMotta, the manger-brother, to my Raging Bull Jake LaMotta. Kind of.

So I grabbed a pencil and paper and got to work. I made a diagram of the layout and plants I'd planned for the garden and broke it into three zones: 1) The drought-tolerant plant zone; 2) The Pétanque court zone; 3) The California native zone. 

"You have big plans for the little space that is our yard," he said.
"We can do it but only if we do it together," I said extending my fist to his. He paused then gave me a fist bump.
"Okay," he said with a smile.

Clearly I'd made him an offer he couldn't refuse.

Next up: Making the Pétanque court!