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Posted by on Aug 29, 2022 in Gary Chalk, Humor, humour, Retirement humor, Retirement Humour, Retirement Living, Uncategorized |

Living Retired — ‘The Dirt On Gardening’

Living Retired — ‘The Dirt On Gardening’

Living Retired — ‘The Dirt On Gardening’

By Gary Chalk.

In our marriage my wife and I have learned to respect each other’s expertise around the house. This is what I mean…

Jan has a degree in mathematics so naturally she does our family finances — everything from the budgeting to the banking. Me? I am responsible for grocery shopping — keeping the fridge loaded with fresh fruits and vegetables and stocking the pantry.

This means our specific duties cross paths when Jan pays the bills.

“Gary, what is this $139 Visa bill at Costco?”

“I bought toilet paper, Kleenex, and paper towels. Oh, and an economy-size jar of French’s Mustard.”

“$139? Have the prices increased that much?”

“Well Jan at least we now have a lifetime supply of hot dog mustard.”

But when it comes to gardening, well, let’s not beat around the bush: we don’t know a hosta from a hyacinth, our roses from our rhododendrons, and forsythia from ferns!

“Gary, have you watered the hibiscus plants in the back garden today? They need water.”

“Jan I thought the same thing but I went online and it says to let the soil dry out between watering.”

Jan jumped at the opportunity to remind me of the time our water Lillie’s ended up floating out all the way to the back of our property. “Gary, why didn’t you tell me you left the hose on the water Lilly’s overnight?”

“Jan I knew you’d find out when you paid the water bill.”

Next Jan asked about the brown leaves on our choral bells under the Japanese red maple tree.

“Gary, my research said the brown leaves mean they aren’t getting enough sunshine.”

“Jan that is the exact opposite from what I read. Wilted leaves mean they are getting too much sun.”

Grrr. Everything is either too much or too little. It is enough to make a gardener heave his Husqvarna hedge trimmer to high heaven!

We agreed the time had come to get someone who knows what they’re doing in the garden to help us.

“Jan. I don’t have a green thumb.”

“But you are all thumbs in the garden. Remember the time you poured white vinegar on the front lawn to kill the chinch bugs?”

“But Jan that killed them all off.”

“Gary, you killed the entire lawn!”

To speak with someone who could dish out the dirt on gardening, I called a friend for help. “Hey what can possibly be causing our daisies to droop?“

“Gee Gary that’s because you have fertilized them too much with Miracle-Gro. Or, perhaps they need more fertilizer. Hope that helps.”

Next up I called the neighbour who is a gardener of the month nominee.

“We need your help. Our front lawn has big splotches of brown spots. Any suggestions?”

“Oh, for sure Gary. You need to put down some nematodes. But be careful because too many nematodes will kill your lawn.” I was no further off. I don’t know a nematode from a white narcissus!

The bottom line is the experts cannot agree if the plants need more water or less water. More sun or less sun. More fertilizer or less fertilizer. More nematodes or none!

Think about it. We have been duped. The gardening gurus are actually moonlighting meteorologists — “Today it will be partly cloudy with sunny periods.”


Living Retired is written by humour columnist Gary Chalk.


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