Thursday, December 01, 2005

Home Landscaping

I haven't mowed my lawn in two months, but that isn't as bad as it sounds. I don't actually have a lawn in the back, just weeds and wood piles that look like beaver mounds left over from the '04 hurricane debris, and in the front, the grass is patchy at best. For the first month, the yard still kept a perfectly manicured appearance, at least as manicured as mowed weeds can look. It wasn't until the second month that the vegetation became unruly. The problem is part laziness and part time management. Also, my mower sucks, and I think I'm out of gas. I don't mind being the shame of the neighborhood, as the neighborhood is still at that midpoint between people not giving a shit and people who do. The key is to monitor neighborhood trends and to shift from not giving a shit to giving a shit before the guy with the chickens in his backyard.

Recently our neighbors moved out, and I'm really sad to see them go. They were a very friendly gay couple at whose little dogs Mahjong and Gobot enjoyed barking. They left with little warning, without even putting up a for sale sign in their yard, and someone is fixing up their house. First it was roof work. Then the floors. But today I saw the sign of worse to come: a delivery of assorted pretty plants and a sodless yard of dirt. I'm about to live next door to the perfect yard. This represents a major wind change in our part of the block. The neighbors kept a decent yard, but it was by no means pretty. You can neglect your yard if your neighbors merely keep theirs up, but you can't neglect a yard when your neighbors have professional landscaping.

This summer I ripped out the hedges that lined the front of our house. They were kind of ugly, and we were going to plant banana trees in their place. But you know how it is -- one day you decide to plant banana trees, the next day you remember you're broke and $40 grand in debt (not counting house payments). So the banana trees were postponed and more weeds have taken the place of the hedges. I would really honestly love nothing more than a really nice yard, front and back, but I can't afford it. I don't have the time to maintain it either.

I was thinking recently that what is really lacking from my life is the outdoors. I spend 95% of my life inside. I need a place outside I can be proud of, somewhere to sit with a cold beer and watch the dogs chase lizards and squirrels. A privacy fence. A fire pit. A koi pond. Even a lawn perhaps? But alas, this is merely a dream of mine. Besides, if I ever did get around to improving my yard, I'd have to evict the beavers.

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