from Pruning the Dead, the first in the Garden Squad series by Julia Henry
I love my gardens. Some might say I'm obsessed with them, but I disagree. Planning, tilling, pruning, weeding and enjoying are my form of therapy. They calm me down, and help me focus when I'm mulling something or the other. My gardens suffered from benign neglect while my husband Alan was dying, but so did the rest of my life. The next spring they welcomed me back, and helped me through my grief.
My housemate, and my late husband's former grad assistant, Delia Greenway helps in the garden, but I know my style of gardening bothers her. Delia likes order, straight lines, and a process. My garden has many sections. Frequently I'll include a piece of art as part of them. There isn't a straight line in my entire backyard.
The front of my house, however? That's Delia's territory. Perfectly pruned hedges, our small patch of grass manicured, bushes balanced on either side of the front door.
The one area Delia and I agree? The marvel of mums.
I love these pops of color that are the last gasp before winter. I have several large pots that we haul out every fall to plant and decorate for the season. If we're lucky, very lucky, they may last until Thanksgiving, but here in New England we aren't usually that lucky.
Delia tells me that my gardens are the talk of Goosebush. I don't mind that, actually. Better my gardens than some of the other goings on in our small town.