The Gardening Engineer

Your engineer loves the occasional bit of physical labor! It allows him to work out the frustrations that he occasionally feels when he (finally) figures out that, once again, no one wants to follow his intellectual brilliance!

Physical labor takes his mind off those issues, and can usually be relied upon to bring your engineer back to his typical balanced state of emotional ignorance!

But, once again, this willingness to be helpful is a double-edged sword! A bit of explanation…

Your engineer knows that he’s more intelligent than most people. But he doesn’t even recognize that he’s not necessarily wise!

As a result of the rewards, successes, and challenges of his life thus far, he’s prepared to assume that he’s right – at least until it’s proven that he’s not! Your engineer is not overburdened by the possibility that he might not actually know what he’s doing at any point in time! His confidence in his intellect does not lack!

There are a lot of examples where your engineer will start from the assumption that he knows what he’s doing in the garden. Some of them might include:

  • differentiating flowers from weeds. Later this summer you might be wondering why you got such a meager result from your massive investment in seeds of those expensive new varietals you were admiring all winter. Well, they sprouted looking just like grass from the lawn – which certainly can’t be allowed to stay in the garden. Your engineer KNOWS that it’s far easier and more efficient to take out the weeds now, while they are still small, rather than waiting until the roots grow so big that he has to remove half the dirt in the garden to get them out of the ground!
  • determining the best locations for each plant. To your engineer, the only rule that matters is that the garden be symmetric, even if everyone else knows that larger shrubs and plants look best when arranged in small odd-numbered groups, and flowers should be in larger bunches for maximum effect.
  • laying out pathways and other additions in the garden. As you saw in the previous point, your engineer struggles to understand the aesthetic rules that the rest of the world share when it comes to plants. Pathways, on the other hand, are made of construction materials, with which you engineer feels some affiliation. Watch out, or your pathways will be in straight lines, running east and west, north and south. You might have to mark a spot for each individual paving stone to have any chance of getting the effect you want!
  • planning for irrigation. Yep, your engineer can be trusted to put the soaker hoses underground at exactly the spots where you planned to plant the rows of decorative cacti and succulents
  • tending the lawn. Here you engineer knows that east is east and west is west. Just as grass shouldn’t be allowed into the garden, the flowers shouldn’t be allowed into areas where they threaten the grass. Buffer zones are needed, possibly even physical barriers to maintain the separation that your engineer relishes. And your plan to allow the lilies to expand and take over a larger section of the backyard? Well, there’s always next year, isn’t there!

Be proactive, and assume that your engineer knows nothing, even if you have been telling him the exact same thing for the past 8 years. A refresher doesn’t hurt, and it will significantly increase your likelihood of achieving the garden you’ve been planning at some in time before the grandchildren come along to stomp all of it into nothingness.

As always, you should be grateful for your engineer. Every one of your friends has to nag their husbands to spend time pulling weeds or cutting the lawn. You don’t have their problem, now do you?

Finally, be thankful that you didn’t marry an accountant. No matter how bad it might be, your engineer at least has a sense of humor. Smile, and enjoy another day full of wonder.

You are welcome!