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The Broad View: Grandchildren Garden Mayhem



Dear Ladies,

I have a large and beautiful garden.  I am also a very busy person.  My neighbor kindly offered to do some deadheading for me; she said she would love the opportunity to spend peaceful early morning times in my garden paradise.  Yesterday, I returned from a vacation of several days to find a garden disaster:  iris and various bulb leaves cut at the strangest angles, rose bushes hacked to the ground, and parts of flowering perennials lopped off in maniacal patterns.  Apparently, my neighbor allowed her grandchildren to do my deadheading unsupervised.  I’m sick—what should I do?

Gloomy Gardener

Dear Gloomy,

If, indeed, you are a gardener, you know that plants are resilient and that by next spring, you will never know that your garden was given a bad haircut.  Human children are, sometimes, not so resilient.  Ask your neighbor if, next year, when her grandchildren visit her, you might help them learn the art of deadheading and pruning.  Also, beware of the call of paradise—-it’s not to be found here.  To paraphrase a poet: a garden is a garden is a garden.


Dear Gloomy,

There is always the chance that your neighbor has a distorted sense of beauty; remember, “Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder”

On the slim chance this is not the case, I would thank her for taking care of your beautiful garden (not really) but explain you are not familiar with the new design and ask her to come over to show you how to manage the new garden.


Maryanne is a 45-year Huntington resident with lots of grown children and more grandchildren than she can count on her fingers and toes (no, she isn’t missing any digits). She’s third generation Irish, raised in Brooklyn and a big fan of chocolate, Halloween and Subarus.

Vera has been a psychotherapist for over 30 years and drives a Subaru. She’s an out-of-towner with Huntington relatives. She lives in the mountains is a mother and grandmother, . Vera asked us to remind our readers that every situation is unique and complicated; explore your situation in detail with your psychotherapist and/or your physician.

If you have a question you’d like us to pose to Maryanne & Vera please send us a note with “Broad View Question” in the subject line to

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