I think I have the most bedraggled yard on my street. I’m kind of bummed out about it too. Years ago, when my back and I were younger, I ambitiously renovated some old foundation yew plantings and spruced up overgrown trees. I pruned and sprayed and added perennials. I put in a little fountain and an annual garden. I mulched, hauling, all by myself, two entire truckloads of mulch to ring trees, enrich garden beds, hold back encroaching grass and so forth. And I’m not talking pickup truckloads, I mean the big professional size truckloads of mulch – I had made friends with an arborist and he sold me his full loads of chips for cheap. I was a muscular gal for several summers.
Then I pulled my back out of alignment and had to rest. I got weak. Things happened and complicated my life, and before I really thought much about it, it had been three or four summers, and I hadn’t gardened much more than to clear debris from the fountain area and keep the fountain going. I wanted to start gardening again, and I got about two hours in one day and found I had locked up my back again. I took it much easier that year, got the kids to help, which resulted in some pruning disasters, but we did get the weed growth under control. All that nicely enriched soil was very friendly to weeds. It looked good and the kids were proud of their contribution.
I had physical therapy for my back early in the year this year, and I’ve been good, if not assiduous, about keeping up with my therapy exercises. The kids and I hit the yard again this weekend, and, while I’m better, I’m still far too weak and wimpy and out of shape to do what it would take to get my garden areas back into apple-pie order without any help. I feel nostalgic about having been as fit as I was, and worse yet, I didn’t even realize or appreciate what good shape I was in at the time. I miss that feeling of strength and ability.
Anyway, a couple of years into ignoring my garden, my west side neighbor put up a fence. I can’t blame him. Once I finally did get over there to do some pruning and cleaning up, I realized that if I were he, I’d have put up a fence, too. The weed growth was ferocious – one of the weed trees was 10 feet tall.
On my east side is a small strip of offices, which went in about 2-1/2 or 3 years ago. They promised us they’d keep business traffic off of our street, and that they’d do some landscaping so that we wouldn’t have to look at their parking lot all the time. We’ve had some encounters during our getting-to-know-each-other period, but mostly things go along OK with little or no interaction.
Until now. It’s late in the year for me to finally starting hacking at weeds, and I never start on the east side anyway. I always start to the south, which is the window I look out of most of the time; it’s where the fountain is and the birdfeeders and the little annual bed. I can understand that the office-building owner would possibly think I was going to let everything get weedy and overgrown again. So, he’s putting up a fence, too.
I’m pretty sure he’s putting up a fence because some of my neighbors have been making a lot of phone calls about the parking lot, and the weed-filled ditch next to his parking lot. Nevertheless, I still feel bad about not having gotten to weeding that side of the yard yet. Not real bad, but a little bad. Kind of like when hubs goes off to the Ace and I forget to ask him to get milk and then one or the other of us has to make a second trip later in the day… “Nuts, I forgot” or “Nuts, I haven’t gotten to it yet.”
I guess I’ll get to it when I get to it. If it bothers anyone too much, they can put up a fence or offer to help. Meanwhile, bit by bit, little by little, I’ll keep pulling a few weeds, dragging a little mulch around, and asking for help. Over time, all of that will get easier.