"What do you think of this?" I asked, pointing to an euonymus. My husband and I were on our third daily excursion this week to the nursery, picking out plants for our yard.
"I like those. How many?" he responded, getting ready to put some on our cart.
"I'm not sure that's what I want yet," I explained, but my protestations proved to be useless as two plants were added to our cart anyway.
"We also talked about barberry," I said. "I think they are down this aisle."
We steered the cart further down the aisle to the barberry, where I pointed out the one I had seen online during my hours of research.
"I like it," he said.
"Well, I'm not sure that it will work in that spot," I cautioned.
"Let's just get it. If it doesn't work there, we'll find another spot for it," my husband said.
I had to laugh. After many years of joking about it, it looked like we were finally going to plant a "child-hater bush" in our yard.
That was the name my husband had given barberries many years ago after becoming acquainted with them at my parents' house. I had grown up with the two large barberries at the end of the driveway, one on either side. If you are familiar with the plant, you will realize it was quite an odd choice for the parents of five children. Barberries are covered in thorns. My parents swore that they liked the foliage, but I suspected that it appealed to some inner sadistic impulse on their part. I couldn't tell you how many play balls ended up flat after a misguided throw landed them in the evil clutches of the barberry's branches. Worse than that was the one time I decided it would be cool to ride my Big Wheel in the driveway with my eyes closed. A painful decision I learned quickly to never repeat.
I hated those bushes as a kid and now here I was happily bringing one home to plant in my own yard.
After we were done planting for the day, I stood back and admired our work. Looking at the barberry, I had to admit it did have beautiful foliage. Turns out my parents were right after all.