Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Breaking Ground

Our yard has been neglected for many years. The lawn was always mowed, but we only had one embarrassment-of-an-apple-tree and a couple of overgrown gardens with a few REALLY determined rose bushes peeking out. This year though, we’ve come up out of the ground like 7-year Cicadas… to do our life’s work…and then go back in a deep hole. We planned a yard-wide overhaul.

We have many areas of our lawn. There is “Poo Field” a spot out on the outer edge of our ¾ acre that is devoted to our dog, Jasmine. “Poo Field” is a marvelous deterrent to “would be” “Ding-Dong-Ditchers” in our neighborhood because it’s a logical escape route from our front door. That area is of course the greenest, most lush grass we have.

Then there’s the “Vole Graveyard” near our garage, where Fred “The Burbs” Frazer buried several of these blackish rodents when a service we hired called “Wil-Kill” never retrieved their traps. The grass grows pretty well there too.

When planning this landscaping project, we went to several nurseries and got lots of ideas. All plants we were shown were said to be “hardy.” But are they “Black Thumb” hardy? I inherited the black-thumb birth defect from my mother, which makes me a hindrance to the natural cycle of plants. I am oblivious to their non-verbal cues, begging for shade, water or fertilizer. I’ve tried this gardening thing many times before with no luck. I’ve never been able to keep a potted plant alive. I even killed an “air fern” once. If only they barked or cried.

We also checked out the Botanical Gardens for ideas. There, they should issue a strong warning to amateurs:

“Enjoy these beautiful acres, maintained by professionals and students of horticulture.”

In slightly smaller print:

Heidi: Don’t even THINK of doing any of this yourself. You know what will happen.

But, I see all the colorful petals, think of the Monet I could create in my yard, stretch my arms out, stiffen my legs and walk Frankenstein-like toward them repeating “Pretty Flowers, Pretty Flowers.”

Consequently, we bought WAY too many plants.

We had many quotes from reputable, reasonable landscapers, but Fred was interested in saving money so he convinced me he could do the digging, leveling, planting, weeding, mulching and debris removal-- all that-- himself.

"Fine, but it’s going to be a HUMUNGOUS project and I’m not up for going up and down the hill,” I said, which is absolutely true thanks(?) to my Achilles heel injury.

Fred started the project after work one day. In less than an hour, he had a bib of sweat all the way down to his navel. So…I started to feel guilty….and trudged out there, limping, to help him. My son, Jon, taking pity on me, came out to help (although offering him a few bills on the sly motivated him too.)

It took 4 nights and a weekend to finish.

Our neighbors are admiring and complimentary, but I’m sure they’re thinking:

“What are those people ON?”

1 comment:

Bev Spicknall said...

What are you people ON?!