Monday, June 1, 2009

Our Very Own Jungle


I ventured out into our backyard the other day to innocently take some pictures, and almost got swallowed up by the weeds and thousands of baby trees wending their way to the skies. For a moment, I forgot where I was, and was sure I had been kidnapped and dropped off in the jungles of South America by some drug lords who needed a middle-aged senora to fetch their taquitos and water for them.

After finally climbing out of the Zone of Death, I made my way back inside and told Mr. Handsome I knew what our summer project was: to make our backyard habitable again, and I don't mean for mice and other small mammals.

Now, for us, a "project" usually means things like what one might be planning to make for dinner, or tackling the laundry, or maybe something as huge as clipping our toenails. All this to say that we don't "do projects" here. We're not that kind of family. But I think a summer project would be a good idea, especially when it comes to our backyard. Because, someday, I'd actually like to have a nice deck back there, with the barbecue on it, some deck chairs, and a daiquiri waiting for me. And, also, it would be nice not to have the po po on our backs for allowing our land to become a habitat for small, ground-dwelling wildlife.

You see, the couple who owned our house before us didn't have children. Instead, they had cats. Four of them. And the wife spent her days gardening, both in the front and back. She created a beautiful berm in the front, replete with perennials, bushes and trees and small plants. She carefully placed more perennials in the backyard. And she tended them with care, because they were her babies. I'm sure they were envied by all the neighbours, because their yard always looked immaculate.

And then we moved in. And nothing's been the same.



This is not our backyard. It is the South American jungle. Just imagine a house, wooden swingset, and barbecue in there somewhere, and you've got our home.

I can't even show you pictures of our backyard. That's how bad it is. It's like our home is a condemned building, and the yard has not been inhabited in a very long time. All the perennials still live there, but you can't see them for the overgrown grass, baby trees, and weeds upon weeds. And how do I know this? Because I peeked. I took a chance at being swallowed whole, and I crawled on my hands and knees, in-between the old sandbox and the overturned lawnchair, and looked underneath all the weeds, and there they were. Purple flowery spiky things, and yellow bell flowers, and even some rhubarb.

We tend to keep the front of the house in some semblance of neatness, although I will be the first to admit we will never be able to maintain it the way the previous owner did. I try to keep the weeds to a minimum, but honestly, who really cares if the lawn is a little long for a week or so, and there are a few dandelions? I actually quite like dandelions myself. They're so ... happy. Who ever said 'neat and tidy' was the be-all and end-all? Not me, that's who.


Most of my neighbours keep theirs nicely manicured, cut every week, leaves raked, blahblahblah. I don't have the time, energy or inclination. And frankly, I don't even like gardening all that much. I'd rather be sitting on my ass eating Cheetos, smearing Cheeto grease on my sweats, and watching hard porn. That's me, classy all the way.


Now that I am making more money again, I decided that maybe hiring someone to come and do something with our backyard might not be such a bad idea. Neither Mr. Handsome nor I are in any shape to be doing back-breaking work anyway. I have my awful arthritis, and Mr. Handsome has ... ummm, something or other.


I realize this is actually a very sad statement, when you know that I'm actually only in my mid-40s. Let's just say Stickler Syndrome sucks the big kahuna, and I wouldn't wish it on another soul, except maybe Susan Boyle.


I think I've convinced Mr. Handsome that, this summer, we should focus on making the backyard habitable again. Of course, when I introduced the idea, he was lying on the couch, eyes closed, and I think I could hear a slight snore coming from his left nostril. I'll take that as a definite yes.

14 comments:

Yaya said...

You should take before and after pics!

I totally LOL'd at 'sit on my ass and eat cheerios'!

Gaston Studio said...

OMG, I didn't realize you lived around the corner from me! You've perfectly described a house just two blocks away that one of my daughter's friends bought from a man and his sister who had let the front and the back yard grow into matching jungles and guess what? His house and the yard was filled with cats!

We're helping her, slowly, cut and prune and trim everything into manageable and smaller jungles.

roy/elisabeth dean said...

No shame Mary! I have someone come to do our yard every week! I wouldn't even know where to start! Besides, it's just too much to take care of the inside, outside, hubby and kids! I just decided to help the economy by hiring someone to do the chores I hate!
Have a wonderful new week at work~
♥,Lilly

mo.stoneskin said...

Weeds are the reason I don't garden. They FREAK ME OUT. I hate the roots, the insects that gather around them, the roots always look like they about to grab me round the throat.

pam said...

It is amazing how quickly the yard can get away from you! I just weeded two weeks ago, and looked on the weekend, and it is completely overgrown again.

I have found the benefit of having winter for five months of the year!! No weeding:)

ReformingGeek said...

;-) I don't want to admit how long it has taken me to make my yard look decent. The previous owners were NOT gardeners and did not do much to prevent erosion (we live on a sloped lot). It's been an uphill....er...downhill battle.

Good luck with yours and yes, HIRE it out if you can afford it.

Michel said...

shit dude! don't let nature touch you!!! Hire someone. I'm just saying...for safety reasons!!!

♥Trina♥ said...

Snores = yes in our household. LOL

John is pretty good about keeping the yard neat, but the flower beds are my area...well, that's a different story all together. I desperately need to weed and cut out the baby trees. My excuse is that it has been too darn rainy. Yeah, that's it...too rainy.

WELCOME TO MY WORLD OF POETRY: said...

Mary if you both lead busy lives then gardening is the last thing on one's mind. I'm not into gardening too much I like pot plants......as for Susan Boyle she is in hospital at the moment.
Enjoyed your description of your garden.

Yvonne.

zelzee said...

I do yard work just so I have something to bitch about.

Miss Thystle said...

My house used to be mistaken for one of the many abandoned houses in my neighborhood while my husband and I stood amid the wreckage and yelled at each other because neither of us has the green thumb and patience for yard work.

Then, I hired a yard service and now while they do the work I drink tequila and watch Real Housewives.

and it.is.awesome.

Frogs in my formula said...

I know EXACTLY what you mean when you say "I can't even show you pictures of our backyard. That's how bad it is." We ignored our backyard for years. I covered the windows facing out back so no one would see. This year we tackled it. It's been blood, sweat and tears but it's worth it (I have so much more energy now that I'm not trying to distract guests from looking out there!).

Mariah said...

I'd rather watch bad porn too

Jenni Jiggety said...

My backyard looks like SAnford and Son beacuse of all the kid crap. Someday, I am going to have that nice yard you speak of...


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