Artistic Differences

Our church has a large garden space meant for contemplation as well as growing vegetables for the local food pantry.  Yesterday was the Sunday we spend every fall engaging in community improvement projects instead of worshipping.  Husband and I and several other volunteers spent the morning getting the garden ready for winter.

Our pastor’s husband was instrumental in planning the layout of the garden and planting the flowers, shrubs, and trees when the garden was started five years ago. He helped clean up the garden today.  Mike is a  school administrator, but spent the early years of his marriage running a landscaping and tree service to support his wife through seminary.  He told me he is happiest climbing trees.  I realized today that he and I have very different ideas about gardens, as he is most concerned  about aesthetics, while I am far more practical.  He feels a garden should look beautiful even in the winter.  I just want everything trimmed so it looks neat and tidy and there isn’t so much cleanup needed in the spring

Mike  planted everbearing strawberries in garden when it was new. They bear nicely and the children love searching for strawberries after Sunday services.  Husband and his girl scout gardening sidekick gave lots to the domestic violence shelter all summer.  Mike was in a quandary today, as the strawberries are growing all over the place amongst the flowers and shrubs, and don’t look as neat as when they were first planted. He wanted to trim them all up and cut them back. I thought we should leave them so we could continue to have enough for the children and for the shelter.  We compromised by his trimming back the messiest ones and leaving the rest spread free and unfettered.

I am a firm believer in trimming irises and day lilies in the fall. Mike knew they had to be trimmed but lamented that the daylily foliage still looked so nice, and it was a shame to cut it down. I reminded him how disgusting and slimey the foliage was when it froze and rotted.  We both agreed that the Monarda should be left untrimmed.  I like to leave it so the stems catch snow for moisture.  He likes to leave it because the dried flower heads are pretty in a winter garden. Same result, different philosophies.

When we were all done, the garden was cleaned up for winter. We all agreed it looks quite nice.  Many of the shrubs are turning red and the Michaelmas Daisies are blooming  profusely.  Children were finding lots of strawberries to eat. It was a good day.

How do you coexist with those with whom you have artistic or philosophical differences?

17 thoughts on “Artistic Differences”

    1. Why, whatever do you mean, kind sir? Surely if I told you that it is my opinion that you might write a paragraph differently, there would be some pushback from you.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. 🙂 Possibly, unless your suggestion was superior to what I’d written . . .
        and that wouldn’t surprise me at all. Most writers live with the constant dread of thinking they suck at writing. 😉

        I just do it for the mental stimulation and to see if I can NOT suck at it.



  1. Husband loved ferns. Looooooooved them. I will admit that I do not. A couple are okay, but they tend to spread and pop up in places you don’t want them and I have a preference for things that bloom. I really like Lily of the Valley and Husband felt the same about them as I do about ferns. So we found places where the ferns could stay bounded by things and kind of have their own space (like under the pine tree where pretty much nothing else seems to grow) and I put Lily of the Valley into places where they could grow and spread but also be bound in a bit (like under the dining room window, nestled in next to the front steps).

    I learned to live with the “this will take a month or so” projects outside that would turn into a couple summers of fussing and puttering. It kept him happy – or at least occupied – and he had more patience for long projects. If I can’t get it done in a weekend it may not get done. So I tackled things like painting the garage door, making the front door purple (instead of the boring grey we inherited when we bought the house), and planting annuals.

    Next year I will need to split ferns…anyone want some ferns? 🙂

    Liked by 5 people

    1. I’m with you on the ferns. When they start coming up in the spring they look like alien spore to me. When I moved into my house 30 years ago there were a lot of ferns. It took me about five years to get rid of them all.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Rise and Shine Baboons,

    I think there are 2 parts to this—the actual difference of opinion, then the way it is communicated. When I worked as part of a “Worship Committee”, which provided holiday decorations for the sanctuary, there was a chairwoman who thought that chairing the committee also included barking orders. I did not appreciate receiving a phone saying, “Go do …” without having agreed operating on such a basis. We never did get to the point of artistic differences, because the communications interfered immediately.

    When it comes to the actual differences, usually that can be negotiated if people have that skill of negotiating.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. I have a friend and coworker whose ideologies differ greatly from mine. I’ve known her since I was 18 and she was 15. We discuss and debate our differing opinions endlessly. We have since we were young. We do not try to change the other’s opinions or criticize. We both recognize that we do this well, we work together well, and we agree that we don’t see the same thing in the same way. Very often we find that we do agree on the basics of human decency and mutual respect.

    Last night we were talking and she showed me a photo of her grandson picking strawberries. She asked me if they should be fruiting again. I’ll tell her about ever bearing strawberries. Thank you!

    Liked by 4 people

  4. My brother in law is a NRA Trump supporter, but we get along pretty well, considering. We just talk about baking and gardening. We only have issues after he’s had a few beers. Then he gets usually starts complaining about our medical benefits as State employees. I don’t know why that bothers him so much.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. The more I think about it, my cryptic remark is pretty much what I do. I hang around mostly with like-minded people. I avoid all kinds of confrontation and conflict. And I distance myself from people I know are polar opposites.

    I do occasionally “talk back” to that acquaintance on Facebook who is a rabid Trump supporter, but again, there’s a distance there…

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I have spent today thinking about this and I can’t really think of any artistic difference that I have with people. I am pretty good at backing down and I think it’s because in most situations, especially work related, I don’t care all that much to get into a fist fight over stuff. Just a few instances during my time in corporate America where I felt strongly enough to really be forceful. One of those times I lost and the three people who were on the other side of the fence came to me six months later and apologized because their idea had failed and they desperately needed me and my original idea. I will admit I felt smug.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. i avoid committees like the plague
    i was part of my local democrat district thing and got elected to stuff and then told what to do

    no thanks

    if you want my input i’ll give it gladly and you can do with it what you will

    i used to go crazy when people didn’t get it but being in sales no just means i didn’t explain it correctly
    today with the realization 40+% of the population are morons i pause before even starting sentence 2 to see if i should continue … both talking and listening
    i had one of the few people i really hated in life early on say “hangings not so bad you just need to get used to that rope around your neck” turned out to be one of the early slime balls i met in business.
    my wife and i have severe differences but even after all these years she still doesn’t get it. hard to believe …

    Liked by 2 people

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