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Husband won't help with the garden

(44 Posts)
Springblossoms Sun 25-Aug-19 01:15:52

I had a hip replacement in June this year. I am usually the gardener in our household and as a consequence literally nothing has been done this year.

Our garden which is normally well cared for has been left to grow wild. We are not old, I was 59 at the time of my operation. My husband is healthy. He spends all his spare time on his hobby of coarse fishing, but will simply not help with the garden. He spends a lot of money on this hobby.

We could afford a gardener if he spent less on his hobby. Time off work prior to and after my surgery means I don't have the funds myself, to pay for a gardener to tidy the place up. By next year it will be a wilderness. We own our house and both should have a financial interest in keeping things tidy.

Anyone else have ideas about how to tackle this?

annep1 Sun 25-Aug-19 04:03:32

I'm afraid I wouldn't be speaking to or doing anything for this selfish person until he sorted the garden.

janeainsworth Sun 25-Aug-19 07:04:02

Your hip will get better, springblossoms. If you had surgery in June, it’s early days yet.
I do sympathise - I’m the gardener too, but for the last few years we have spent a lot of time away from home pursuing MrA’s boating dreams. It gets harder and harder to keep the garden as I’d like it, in spite of being able to afford a gardener to help me.

I think it depends on your household financial arrangements. If you have a joint account I would just tell your DH you’re going to spend some money on a gardener for a while and if he doesn’t want to do that, he’ll have to put some effort into the garden himself, while you’re recovering.

I’ve used this technique successfully in conjunction with decorating, which I loathe wink

Peonyrose Sun 25-Aug-19 07:15:25

Completely agree with Jaininsworth. Good luck.

Liz46 Sun 25-Aug-19 07:36:15

I've got a problem with my lungs and am not supposed to have much contact with compost. I always used to grow many plants from seed. I asked my husband to take over the garden and he started to talk about cement.
We have compromised and he is helping to grass over most of the borders.

Grannyknot Sun 25-Aug-19 07:45:52

Anne unfortunately it is necessary to talk to people to resolve problems, even when it means having difficult conversations. So 'no speaks' wouldn't help IMHO.

I think that if I were in this situation, I would say something like "the garden needs to take priority at the moment, so I'm organising a gardener (unless you do it)" and see where that takes the conversation.

Good luck with your recovery, and your garden.


BlueBelle Sun 25-Aug-19 07:46:08

I think you should take on a temporary gardener until you can manage it yourself and either pay out of a joint account or if not have it billed to his account or failing that cut down on his food/treats to get enough money together
You can’t make someone like or do gardening but it’s extremely selfish of him to not try to find a way of getting someone else to help or to pay for it to be done himself
I find it a bit worrying that you say you have limited funds I thought marriage was a two way street

mcem Sun 25-Aug-19 07:54:17

I was out of action last summer (broken hip) and my tiny garden suffered. Relied on AC and DGD to do some watering but that was about it! No grass cutting involved but dead-heading and cutting back were neglected. Lack of copious daily watering meant a dearth of plums!
I realise there's a lot more to your current problem but just want to reassure you a little.
All is well this year - nature is resilient and I have had an excellent crop of plums as well as terrific flowers and climbers. You may have to admit defeat this year but next year once you're fit again you'll feel you've achieved a minor miracle.

polnan Sun 25-Aug-19 08:25:05

His money? your money? joint money? our moneys have always been joint... so pay the gardener, but talk to him first...

starbird Sun 25-Aug-19 08:38:25

Is this just about the garden? How about all the other household jobs like cleaning etc. A gardener to keep the grass cut and a bit of trimming each week should not cost a fortune if you get an odd job type of gardener ( try asking on your local Next Door site). If you have access to his money, just tell him that this is what is going to happen for the rest of the summer. If you have separate accounts, and you do the household shopping, cut down on the food to pay for it. (You can up your meals that you eat alone when he is fishing!)

If you cannot touch his money and he won’t cooperate, this will be an eye opener to the future as either or both come to need help with daily activities. Is he the person you want to grow old with?

Craftycat Sun 25-Aug-19 08:51:10

My husband doesn't garden. He will mow the front lawn though as neighbours see him doing it. I do the back one. To be fair I do like gardening & he doesn't know a rose from a dandelion. I have a gardener once a fortnight to do heavy stuff.
He is always complimentary about the garden too. Actually to be honest he is very lazy & does very little around house. I used to think it was because he worked long hours but he had been between contracts for ages now & still bone idle so it is obviously just him. When he retires he is in for a shock believe me!!

whywhywhy Sun 25-Aug-19 08:51:11

It's His garden as well, so have a chat. You sound like you have separate bank accounts. He'll have to pay. Take care and get back to normal soon.

TrendyNannie6 Sun 25-Aug-19 09:18:16

I think he’s being selfish I would ask him to do some gardening to sort it out, if he refused I would say well I’m going to pay for a temporary Gardener until it gets sorted, hope your recovery goes well

Americanpie Sun 25-Aug-19 09:26:01

I'm sorry to hear about the situation you find yourself in. Its the opposite with me, my husband, the gardener, is currently crocked and I'm doing everything. He is so frustrated by it and hates to see me so shattered. Have you actually told him how you feel about the state of the garden? Its possible he thinks that you are actually looking forward to tackling it when you're better and that he's leaving it for you. Have a chat and good luck.

25Avalon Sun 25-Aug-19 09:26:10

He has never helped with the garden and he never will. It probably wouldn't be a good idea to let him loose in the garden anyway as he isn't going to look after it. You need a gardener to get the garden straight whilst you recuperate and then can start taking over yourself when you feel able. The problem seems to be how to pay for it. If your husband isn't prepared to help out and cut back on his hobby for this temporary period then I suggest you get the money by cutting back on what you spend on household expenditure especially food - instead of a roast dinner for example have a cheaper meal such as cauliflower cheese or eggs - I'm sure you get my drift and can come up with some ideas yourself.
You may find it difficult to get an individual gardener this time of year so you might need to go to a large company. Whatever I suggest you get a couple of quotes and then present it to your husband.

BlueSapphire Sun 25-Aug-19 09:47:15

Late DH hated gardening with a passion and would only cut the grass and do a bit of watering. (Why he insisted on a house with such a big garden is beyond me.....) I did everything else and still do, but now including cutting and trimming both lawns. At the moment I can still manage but the time will come when I shall have to get someone in.

I would definitely tell your DH that as he cannot be bothered to help you out that you will be getting a gardener in and spending 'his' money doing it.

jura2 Sun 25-Aug-19 09:54:02

oh I sympathise. My OH is just not a gardener- he mows the lawn (grass/weeds) and I do the rest. We had 2 years of wildnerness as I had knee replacements in 2 consecutive years. It was magical to get thing back to how I like it this Spring.

In a way, I am glad he didn't try to tackle it himself- because he has not got a clue, and does not know between my prize beloved rare plants and dendelions. Not sure I could have a gardener, unless he showed me he is knowledgeable and frequently asked how I want the job done. My SIL had a gardener in Surrey who knew very little about plants, had no training and didn't know anything about pruning- but charged good money sad would drive me bonkers.

quizqueen Sun 25-Aug-19 09:55:22

Jam sandwiches for tea for him for a week and spend the money saved on a gardener.

Minerva Sun 25-Aug-19 10:00:21

I would have paid to keep my husband far away from the garden. Came the day when I threw a hissy fit when he dug up a treasured Sumac which I grew from a seedling given me by a treasured friend before she died. He was allowed to cut the grass but was so often away when it needed doing that he got banned from doing that too.
I agree, get a gardener until you are up and running and make him pay for it.

Lazigirl Sun 25-Aug-19 10:04:44

I would not think this is a unique situation in households where many couples have divided roles.

It only becomes a problem when one can't do what they have previously done due to illness or infirmity and the other won't or can't take it on board.

If he can't help out, you need to reach a compromise together, as others have indicated. If you can't it may indicate trouble in the future, you are still relatively young, but these things do happen in our lives.

Good luck, hope it works out.

MawB Sun 25-Aug-19 10:25:25

Get a gardener.
I don’t much like the division of domestic chores into his or her areas anyway. If he is not a gardener, he is not a gardener.
Just as some people insist on DIY - fine if you enjoy it, tough if you don’t.
If we did everything ourselves, there would be less employment for trained and experienced decorators, painters, builders and yes, gardeners.
You personally should not have to fund this, it is a household expense and if something has to give (like his fishing) so be it.

BradfordLass72 Sun 25-Aug-19 10:38:24

Springblossom Your post gives me the impression you are married to a thoroughly selfish man who doesn't care a fig for you.

You must have known this for a long time. My goodness, men can be uncaring but you would think when you are recovering from a hip operation there'd be some sympathy!

As for spending all the household joint responsibility money on fishing - words fail me.

If you have tried to talk to him and he remains as cold as the fish he catches, then I have to wonder why you share your life with such a person.
Has he any good points at all?

sarahellenwhitney Sun 25-Aug-19 10:46:14

Can you put an ad in your local paper ' ?
Help in garden required? Even temporary help is better than nothing as you will get stronger and your new hip will give you a new lease of life.Having had both mine replaced can vouch for it .Also don't forget autumn is around the corner your garden will not be as active so don't worry you will catch up.

annep1 Sun 25-Aug-19 11:10:25

Grannyknot it sounds to me like Springblossoms has tried talking to him already and has achieved nothing.

WOODMOUSE49 Sun 25-Aug-19 11:17:59

Agree with Jaininsworth

It's only a temporary measure to get help in. My gardening is extensive as I have polytunnel and raised beds as well as garden around the house. Husband has the rest of our land to maintain but did help but did cut the loads of grass we have.

3 years ago I had hip replacement in the August. As soon as I was allowed to bend more than 90 degrees I was back gardening. The year of the operation I did very little after the op but following year I was back to full time gardening again.

I do a lot of pilates., Can really recommend it to aid your recover. I have a teacher whose used to people coming with hip replacements and knows the correct exercises to do.

Any way , tell him it only a temporary measure - get someone in.