Well, we’re nearing the peak saturation for TV football in America, which means your garden is probably going to the dogs. Don’t despair, ladies! Here’s Grumpy’s list of quick gardening tasks your husband can do at halftime, once you pry him off the sofa with a crowbar.
1. Plant some spring bulbs, like the hyacinths above. He doesn’t have to plant a whole acre. Halftime is plenty of time to plant 6 to 8 bulbs of hyacinths, daffodils, tulips in a container filled with fresh potting soil. Plant each bulb three times as deep as the height of the bulb. Come to hubby’s rescue if this last point overwhelms him.
2. Use the leaf blower to clear fallen leaves from the porch, deck, steps, and yard. If your next-door neighbor roots for the wrong team, hubby will probably want to linger for 5 to 10 minutes by the neighbor’s window, making sure that all leaves are rightly returned to the neighbor’s yard from whence they undoubtedly came. Check local noise ordinances, however, to make sure leaf blowing is permitted during night games. Some homeowners associations are just so unreasonable about leaf-blowing. You can’t even talk to those guys! Is there anything wrong with tidying up the neighborhood at the most convenient time? I think not.
3. Give your dead cat a decent burial. Contrary to popular belief, this needn’t be time-consuming or expensive. Most towns and states no longer require pet caskets, embalming, a formal service, a cemetery plot, granite headstone, or tribute video. All hubby has to do is dig a foot-deep hole about the length of the Dearly Departed, push in the cat using the edge of his shoe, and cover the corpse with soil. It’ll add valuable organic matter. If hubby so chooses, he may say a few touching words, such as, “Can you believe the quarterback even threw the football? There were three guys around the receiver!”
4. Decorate a bottle tree. No example of Southern garden art evokes such universal love and admiration as a bottle tree. That’s why all of your neighbors have one and why your husband should make one for you too.
He doesn’t have to get fancy or anything. I mean, this example shows a pressure-treated 4×4 used as the trunk with blue wine bottles carefully mounted on nails set at an upward angle. As we know, all of the world’s best wines come in blue bottles.
Now you may say, “My husband isn’t a wine drinker.” (We know that’s not true, but we’ll play along.) Use beer bottles instead! Many beer bottles are a pretty green color and it doesn’t take long at all to empty a sufficient number of them to fill up an entire bottle tree, especially if hubby’s football team is getting slaughtered again in front of a national audience. Auburn fans know what Grumpy means.
5. Water the stinking houseplants! Is that very much to ask? No, it is not. Most houseplants don’t need to be watered that often, especially in the cool months of fall and winter, when they aren’t growing very much. Grumpy waters his peace lilies and Christmas cactus once a week, his moth orchids and kalanchoes once every two weeks, his clivia once a month, and his snake plants (mother-in-law’s tongue) once every two months. All of this can be accomplished during halftime. Just be sure to water thoroughly, so that water runs into the saucer beneath the pot, and then empty the saucer. Tell hubby that every time he performs this correctly, he may also empty a beer.
6. Perfect the art of “planking.” Planking involves lying face-down, straight and stiff, in an unusual location. You may think your hubby spends every day like this, but remember — it’s face-down and it’s not in the office or home. The person in the excellent example shown is indeed Grumpy. My son goes to Auburn and I am practicing my reaction when Auburn trails Alabama by 79 points at halftime at this year’s Iron Bowl game on November 24.
“But,” you ask, “my husband doesn’t have any Auburn connection. Can he still plank anyway?” Of course, he can! Have him and his football-watching buddies plank head-to-toe in a straight line at the end of the yard near the street during halftime. Cover them with mulch to make a nice berm. Return in the fourth quarter to see if the berm has moved. If it hasn’t, great. It’s time to add plants to the top. Now, doesn’t that look better? And in case you wondering, the answer is “yes.” You can do the same with cats.