Monday, June 11, 2012

He Promised Me the Sun...

My sweet husband, Don Burke, and I had a critical conversation last winter. It was about our future garden, specifically where to locate our raised beds. He told me that the sun would track across our shady, woodsy back yard in such a way that the spot we (= mostly he) had picked out for the vegetable beds would get enough sun. Vegetables, especially the fruiting types such as tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants, need a minimum of six hours of sun a day.

I told him I had my doubts. Once the trees leaf out, I said, there won't be enough sun.

Famous last words:

Don looked around at the surrounding trees and said, "I can make more sun. Tree limbs I can cut down." With that promise, I agreed to the spot.

Guess what? My summer garden is in partial shade, and there is not enough sun for the tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants. Leafy greens like beans, lettuce, and basil can get by with less sun that folks realize, but the aforementioned summer favorites must have more.

I reminded Don of his promise frequently, about every other day. I honestly tried not to harp on it so much, but a promise is a promise, and there's only one growing season. I would have planned the garden differently if I had known to plan for less sun.
The Tree. Cut Limb On Left.

There's a big tree near our back porch. It had a few dead limbs that needed cutting, anyway. Don figured he'd keep his promise and save the cost of a tree service by cutting the old tree's massive limbs back himself to let in more sun. He did a good job, except the massive limb was longer than he thought, and  he dropped it on the neighbor's property as well as ours despite the precautions he'd taken.

Luckily, nobody was hurt. Don managed to miss the neighbor's house, his pool, and most of his hot tub, too. He just damaged the two fences that divide our backyards and the hot tub cover. Don plans to fix our fence and pay to for the neighbor's repairs. He says, even with those expenses, the job was still cheaper than hiring a tree service.
The Damage From Our Side of the Fence

I bit my tongue. Sometimes a man just needs to be right.

The neighbor was pretty understanding when he recovered from his shock a little bit. He seemed tickled to learn that Don had promised his new bride the sun and he delivered.

The thing that concerns me is, Don is not finished with that tree. But the repairs are slowing him down along with the debris removal, and he is talking about hiring a tree service for a future bigger job. I am still holding my tongue but rejoicing and encouraging him. There's nothing like young love, even in one's later years.

**Update on 8/18/13: We had some other trees on the property that needed a professional's attention, so we hired one to cut back this particular tree in a way that will give us much more sun on our gardens. Today was the first sunny day since the tree was worked on, and I'm thrilled with the afternoon sun in my yard. Maybe my tomatoes will finally ripen up.

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