Dandy Lions

After umpteen million years of living next door to the Burkes, they died and last summer some nice new young neighbors moved in. I don’t think they are pregnant but, other than that, my brain has been busily doing the math: *we* were about their age when we moved in next door to the Burkes and they were not too much older then than we are now. Or maybe not older at all. Yikes. Anyway. One of the first things the new neighbors did was rip out the old bushes in front of the Burkes’ house. Some people around here were a little horrified! How *dare* they? Those bushes have been there since… Well, I don’t know how long but definitely since you could just head down to Schlenker’s Hardware Store and buy your darn dynamite (but that’s a whole ‘nother story).

Me? I cheered when they ripped out those old bushes. We loved having the Burkes next door but let’s face it, they are not around any more. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with moving into a new house and making it your own space. And that includes the yard. Did weeeeeeee do that when weeeeeee moved in to our house? Well, not really so much. I am *still* struggling with the Landfill Chitchen Reno Prodject (intentionally misspelled).

But I’m not talking about the Landfill interior right now because it is spring and that means it is gardening time and everybody is out digging and weeding and planting things. Our yard? It has hardly changed since we moved in. We have bushes that the Wrights (or whoever came before them) planted in front of the house and in the back of the house and we have this long strip of garden at the back of the yard where some crocuses and daffodils and tiger lilies still come up every year. Those things are older than my kids. The rest of that space is a wasteland of weeds and a few wayward lilies of the valley that tried to overtake the yard once. Oh, and poison ivy. I think. I haven’t positively identified any of that yet this year. It is one of the few plants I CAN identify because it is just about the only thing in the world that I seem to be highly sensitive to.

I WANT to be able to blithely rip out old, scraggly bushes and dig holes and plant new things all over my yard. Alas, I have a black thumb. Or maybe it isn’t exactly that. I occasionally get all excited and do a bunch of weeding and planting at the beginning of the summer. That requires a gargantuan effort because I don’t know what tools to use and/or find them and by the end of the whole thing, I am mentally exhausted. And then I get busy. I am at work and in and out of town and I forget to water things or I can’t find the right kind of hose attachment or I can’t make the hose reach all the way to the stuff I want to water and it all comes to a bad end and at the end of the summer, our yard is still a big weed-infested, scraggly old bush mess. In the fall, I rake/blow the leaves (I admit that the GG has done that the last couple years) and the yard looks pretty good at that point and everything is put away nicely and I have high hopes for the next summer and then it all just repeats itself.

As I watched my new young neighbors planting flowers where those scraggly old bushes were, I felt defeated. I thought that if I just earned a little more money, I could hire a gardener. But I really kind of WANT to be able to do my own garden. Maybe what I really need is a coach. A gardening coach. Does that kind of person exist? I wonder how much they would charge for their services. I wonder if I could find someone who would work WITH me and not try to bowl me over.

8 Responses to “Dandy Lions”

  1. Sam Says:

    Maybe you’re struggling with the Landfill Chitchen Reno Prodject because you’re not in Reno? Perhaps try trowelTART for garden coaching? The TART’s over Milwaukee-way, so probably the same hardiness zone as your Planet….

  2. Mouse Says:

    Hire me to garden? 🙂 Half kidding!!

  3. Margaret Says:

    Do you have any garden shops/nurseries in town? I’ve found those people to be very helpful about what to plant where for sunlight and temperature reasons. I shop at the most expensive nursery in town, but it’s owned by local people whose grandkids went to school with my children AND I’ve never had a plant from there die. (without me forgetting to water it that is) Good quality plants are better!

  4. Uncly Uncle Says:

    You suffer from concept overload. You have to chuck the project down, sequence it and do one task (with dead lines) at a time. One foot in front of the other.

  5. jane Says:

    I have a friend who is good at this. no really. would you like to meet her and discuss?

  6. pooh Says:

    I’m sort of like you, except that my gardening urges come every few years, and not every spring. Plant native plants, as they are more likely to thrive with the conditions where you are. Plant perennials, as once they’re established, they’ll keep coming back. Plant for the birds, (and the butterflies?)

  7. Kathy Farnell Says:

    I grow the same kind of flowers at my house that are in the picture on this blog!

  8. grandmothertrucker Says:

    Perennials are the way to go, with a few bags of red mulch and some rocks. Easy, pick a few things, put them in, pile red mulch thick everywhere else, ( weeds won’t come up through the mulch if it is thick enough ) and set a few rocks around. When the perennials go to sleep, stick some silk flowers from the dollar store in there with some pumpkins. Do one little spot at a time. It’ll come together quick.

    Or, if you think you are going to kill everything, then just kill it all with Roundup, throw down red mulch and some silk flowers and you are done for the year. I did that for the past 3 years, and my neighbor thought my garden was so pretty, and wondered how my flowers always looked so nice. : p

    Be like Gumper. Go buy a bottle of Weed-B-Gone, walk around and spray one dandelion at a time. My neighbor has an epidemic of dandelions, last year I sprayed all the ones in her yard close to my driveway, and this year, they were all over her yard, except for by my driveway…

    Or, hire the new neighbors to do it, get to know them. Someday, you will be one of their best memories on their blog.