You know about the weeds in the flower beds. I have documented the jungle we have growing and my uncanny ability to help weeds thrive no matter the conditions and make real plants wither just by looking at them.
But did I tell you that the Country Boy and I have had many debates regarding what to use as ground cover once we got the weeds out? Long, drawn out debates. I’m talking sometimes heated debates – which is saying something for a laid-back, mostly quiet county man.
What could cause head-butting that put us into a feuding style worthy of Hatfield/McCoys, Steelers/Browns?
What could turn a sweet, calm man into a stubborn son-of-a-gun and a loving, supportive woman into a line-drawing lunatic? [dramatic music]
Mulch vs. Stones
I love mulch. I have used mulch as cover in my flower beds for years with great success for weed control and curb appeal. Yes, it’s messy. And smelly. And needs to be redone after a few years. But it looks good, as well as gives something back to the plants in terms of moisture and nutrients as it breaks down.
My Country Boy hates mulch. He insists that the one (One!) time he used mulch, the weeds came up and it looked bad right away. He wants to use stones – small river-type stones or dark gravel – in the beds. His point of view is that it will keep weeds away, look good, and never need to be done again.
We’ve been debating on this topic for months, each of us getting more entrenched in our positions as time went by. We enlisted other people to give support to our respected sides – neighbors, friends, family, small children, strangers on the street, internet “experts” (regardless of the validity of their expertise). Whoever liked mulch/stones, if they agreed with our position we made sure that they told the other side their opinion and why.
We tried to compromise – We looked at rubberized mulch. (Expensive, plus not sure how well it would really work within a flower bed.) We talked about using ground cover plants. (Good idea for around bushes and larger plants, but some of our smaller plants would get lost.) I said I’d give him the barn, out garage, play house, and shed for stones to be put around the base or however he saw fit, with the flower beds around the house getting mulch. (He was open to that) He said I could do mulch if, after this year, I did it solely by myself. (I was willing to make that deal, although I may regret it down the road a few years.)
In the end, we bought some mulch for use around the house and will get some stones for use around a few of the out buildings. My Country Boy even picked up a load and started putting it down over the weekend. What a sweetheart.
Of course, by later that day he grumbled that it was already fading.
I’m biting my tongue out of respect and appreciation that we were able to reach a compromise of some sort. However, if he keeps grumbling like this, I think I might need some stitches…
And a load of stones delivered.