Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Why must gardening be so difficult?

One of the things I'd really like to have is a beautiful yard. I love the look of a freshly mowed lush green lawn and gorgeous flowers in bloom. It would feel so good to arrive home to such loveliness every day and it would be relaxing to gaze out my window at such wonderful surroundings. But alas, I have none of this.

One of the goals I set for myself in the spring was getting my front yard in ship shape. In April, I was off to a good start. I fertilized the lawn, sprayed weed killer, bought containers and planted flowers, weeded the flower beds, and planted new plants and seeds for annuals. Unfortunately my good intentions were quickly uprooted by gardening chaos, my inexperience, and my lack of time (and desire) to do yardwork. This was exemplified by the following experiences:
  • To save money I planted annual seeds including Marigolds, Cosmos and Sweet Peas. When I read the Cosmos package I thought it said they grew to be 6". Well it turns out there was just one apostrophe after that they really grew to be 6'. By July the Cosmos were running wild and taking over the entire flower bed. I mean they were annuals! Who knew that annuals could grow to be so big??? Jeramy just shook his head and asked why I always managed to plant things that grew too large, because yes this is not the first time this has happened. Finally he pulled them out for me using his quad and a tow rope on Monday, and I finished weeding my much emptier flowerbed yesterday.
  • I'm simply not good at keeping up with my lawn. My fastidious neighbor across the street mows his lawn every week throughout the year. Even in January when the lawn grows at a rate of 1mm/week he is out there mowing rain or shine. I, on the other hand, am lucky if I can garner the energy to cut the dandelion infestation I call a "lawn" twice a month. And unlike my neighbor's grass in the dead of winter, dandelions seem to grow at a rate of 6 inches per day in mid-summer. So for the greater part of the summer months what I'm left with is dead brown grass and a vast array of stout yellow flowers. I guess that I can grow flowers...just not the desired kind.
  • There is also the Jeramy factor. Now I do the bulk of the yard work myself because (1) Jeramy has allergies but more importantly (2) I care more about what our yard looks like than he does. That isn't to say that he doesn't care. My standards are just higher in that department. (Just like his standards are higher when it comes to the number of motorcycles one must own). The problem isn't so much that he doesn't do a lot of the gardening. Rather, it is really that he often compromises my efforts. For example, in August he dumped a large pot of boiling crabs in the front yard. This has resulted in a 2' x 2' section of grass that is now dead...permanently dead. Like everything around it is nice and green but it maintains a brown color and straw like texture.

I've come to hate people with beautiful yards. The sorts of people who love going out every afternoon and weekend to play in the dirt. And why do these people have to live by me???

It's hopeless I'm afraid.

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