A few days ago, this little sign cropped up in my neighbor’s yard…
Yes, friends, my neighbors received the coveted “Yard of the Month” sign.
First, I congratulate them. They absolutely deserve it. Ever since they moved in, they’ve had beautiful perennials and annuals planted in the front yard, and have always had the greenest, most weed-free grass on the block. They really do a great job.
However, I de-congratulate myself. Why? Because now I get to be the neighbor that everyone immediately compares the “Yard of the Month” to. My grass has weeds that grow at about 3x the speed of the grass. Besides my regular weeds this year, I’ve also started growing dandelions for the first time. This is extra dangerous, because those things spread like MAD! But for some reason, they magically end at the neighbor’s property line.
Furthermore, I de-congratulate myself because as soon as my wife saw the neighbor’s accomplishment, she immediately stated “We’re getting yard of the month!”
Don’t get me wrong, I really like the idea of a nice yard. I’m willing to work for this goal, especially while my wife is still willing to help me out in the yard. But I can already see forward to the day when her first priority on a Saturday morning is not going to be bouncing out of bed to mow, weed and trim, thus leaving the impossible task solely to me — the “yard man.”
In the meantime, I’m game. Let’s go for it. If we’re ever going to get “Yard of the Month,” it’s going to be now. So in that spirit, we rolled up our sleeves and started with the routine mowing and edging. We kicked it up a notch by pulling a few of those pesky weeds and fertilizing (based on recommendations from our neighbor). We then extended ourselves past any typical work by planting some tree starts we had gotten from the wifey’s work into pots. This led to us doing a full ‘audit’ of the pots on the back porch, so we cleaned out the nasty, rotting, dead vegetation and pots that were just growing weeds. (How a weed jumps up from the grass into a pot is still a mystery to me.)
There was a tree in one of the pots that seemed to be doing really well, so we decided to plant it in the ground. This decision, of course, led to a trip to Lowes after we realized that we were not going to have any good soil to plant the tree in. One bag of soil and $120 in extra supplies later, we returned home armed to give this tree every chance of survival and attractiveness possible. We bought ground fabric, special tree planting soil, and steel frame to put around the tree to keep the grass from growing in.
I had been wanting to install these steel tree ring/barriers in the front as well, so we bought enough for us to (very optimistically) also do the front yard as well. (Didn’t happen)
A few hours, muttered cuss words, blisters, and a pile of exhaustion later, we had a small stick protruding from the ground with a beautiful steel ring around it and a pile of mulch.
We enjoyed a small moment of victory which was quickly overshadowed by the sad realization that for all that work, we had only a small stick in the ground to show for all the effort.
…And it probably will just die anyway.
But that is only half of the story… tune in tomorrow for the story BEFORE this story as I recount the futile weekend project that preceded this yard project!