To think this is actually a Millstone not a favour?(109 Posts)
I will preface this by saying it's not a PIL bashing thread at all, they are wonderful and mean well.
They are obsessive gardeners. Their garden is utterly amazing, the sort that could be opened to the public.
Our garden was up until a few weeks just grass and patio, which suited me brilliantly as I am not a gardening person. I always buy a few ready planted pots in the summer, but that's my limit.
A few weeks ago they came over with their tools and six shrubs that they'd lovingly grown for us. Dug out a couple of borders and planted them. They assured me it would all look after itself. I was quite happy with this, and very grateful obviously.
They wanted to come over today to replant my pots as they consider buying plants a waste of money (fair enough).
But they've actually planted loads in the garden as well! MIL took me round and told me what needs dead heading, that it all needs watering at least twice a week, what needs digging out in the autumn and what can be left etc etc.
Now, I'm really not trying to be ungrateful but this is not at all what I wanted. It's the opposite of the low maintenance garden we discussed. The shrubs were all nicely spaced so the bit of weeding needed was a doddle. Now there's all sorts of different things mixed in and I'll have no idea what's meant to be there or not.
I had left them to it (DH was helping them) so didn't realise until it was too late. I was obviously outwardly very grateful and enthusiastic when they proudly showed off all their hard work, but inwardly crying with exhaustion at the thought of it all.
I know the obvious answer is to leave it all to dh but he works crazy hours and I'm a SAHM so that wouldn't be fair.
This is just a whinge really and I'll suck it up. But AIBU to think it's not really a favour when it involves ongoing hard work for me?
Aw, what a lovely thing for them to do! They obviously got carried away with enthusiasm and planted some of their personal favourites instead of sticking to the low-maintenance plan. But also, yes, quite inconvenient for you if you'll be in charge of upkeep. Any chance they would be happy to pop in and do the deadheading etc later?
My mum buys plants for my garden and chops bits back without asking and it drives me up the fucking wall so yanbu.
It's interfering and making work for you.
That said, do the bear minimum (if it's dead, cut it off and if it's got yellow flowers and not recognisably a flower you know or it's a dandelion pull it out!) and let them come and tidy it up as they're bound to do on a regular basis if local.
I think it sounds like they'd be happy to help with the upkeep. In a few years you'll probably thank them. I moved into a house with an established garden a few years ago and I miss it so much. A few evenings of weeding every month and it really did look amazing, and did indeed look after itself.
Wow, I think they did a lovely thing! Wish they'd come round to mine and do the same.
Are you seriously saying that as a SAHM you aren't able to do a tiny bit of gardening? Like watering the plants twice a week?? Get the DC involved, they'll enjoy it.
Ok don't panic. To out twice a week with a hose and enjoy the experience of getting cool at the start of end of the day. Stop watering at the end of august as they will mainly need it when planted this summer. When a flower head has died off, cut it back to where it meets the next stem. Otherwise let them deadhead them and just leave them be.
I will do it obviously
and I might even enjoy it but I was just a bit taken aback. I do think they just got a bit carried away and as gardening is their whole life they don't really understand that I'm basically allergic to it.
You are lucky to have such kind and thoughtful PIL.
You could maybe learn to enjoy and appreciate the plants a bit more? It's something that comes with age I think. I wasn't very interested when I was young but love it now.
Gosh, yanbu at all.
I love gardening, I've done it for a job.
There's NO WAY I'd assume someone else wanted a high maintenance garden dumping on them, just because I thought I looked nice. Really out of order. There's loads of things they could have planted that would look great and need minimal maintenance.
They probably won't mind tending to it.
Ignore the weeds etc and just say you haven't had time, if asked and remind them it was supposed to b no maintenance. They'll probably offer as they won't be able to bear it being spoilt.
If things are new they need a lot of watering until they are established. E.g. I've got an 'easy to grow' plant that needs watering for the first year. Many things need cut back at certain times of year etc. Twice a week isn't much in the way of watering, and it's normal for even low maintenance plants to need some sort of cutting back in autumn. Anything you can't be arsed with though that seems complicated…just leave it! Just because they've said you have to do something doesn't mean that you actually do. They've been kind enough to plant stuff but if you can't keep up with the maintenance and you've specifically requested low maintenance they can hardly complain.
YANBU at all. I'm not a keen gardener and I would feel really cross about this. It's up to you whether you want a low maintenance garden or not!
Have you got an outside tap? You can get hose with holes in and lay it alongside the plants, so instead of watering you just turn the hose on.
Now I just need a way to remind me to turn it on ... and off
I quite like gardening and I think YANBU - just leave it to die if you dont want the work. Then when its all dead tell them breezily "oh I don't do gardening, and DH wasn't bothered either so they didn't last. Any plants that go in our garden have to be self sufficient, I won't do any gardening."
You didn't ask for them to spend their money, you weren't included when they and DH decided to plant all these plants that require effort, you are under no obligation to do the work. If they have a go, then just say "but you didnt ask if I wanted you do this or if I was prepared to dedicate the time to it, if you had, I'd have told you I wouldn't. I don't understand what I've done to make you think I'm interested in gardening when I've never bothered."
you may find that you end up enjoying the garden, ie watching the things grow and flower, so you may end up wanting to look after it. Otherwise sounds like they may pop round and help out if it needs attention.
You're so lucky!
Feel your pain. Gardening turns me depressed after half an hour. Dh is the same with decorating and diy.
Why don't you just chat to them next, "You know I said I needed a no (forget low) maintenance garden, well I think you'll have to pop around to sort out all those flower things you've planted DH just won't have the time"
Of course yanbu-they have made work that you don't want-doesn't matter if you have the time.
If they want to do it that's great.
I don't know how it's lucky when people do something that you didn't want (but they did), but you'll be the one maintaining it.
Really, just leave it. Turn the hose pipe on now and then when you remember/get the kids to play water fights in the garden when it's hot, but don't stress. If it dies, it dies.
You are under no obligation to look after this garden. Come autumn,if you can't be arsed deadheading or cutting back etc. just leave it or dig out if they look crap. Leave until next spring and see what survives. Anything that can 'cope' with you 'hands off' approach is a keeper, antyhing else goes in the garden waste bin. (You'll be surprised how much can live with being ignored when officially it needs effort)
My mil is much the same, I'd love a garden of patio, pots and grass but our garden was already well established when we moved in. Mil took it on and tamed it for us the first summer and now comes every Good Friday to sort it out for the coming summer, and often during other summer visits she will pootle about out there doing whatever needs doing. I leave the garden and her to it. It looks a state between visits, but not enough of a state for me to be wanting to do 'outdoor housework' to tidy it up.
This reminds me of coming home to our new house 12 years ago and finding that pils had spent the whole day clearing out a massive raised bed for us...that we had no time/inclination to plant anything in or look after. Its been a mass of weeds mostly since, although I have just got the gardening bug now.
Definitely tease them into coming once a month to tidy it up, or ask them where is the gardener that comes with it as you specified low maintenance!
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