Judging from the clumps of cat hair sprinkled around the house, spring is well on its way and man, I am ready. The first spring in a new house is always exciting because surprises are literally leaping out of your lawn. I can’t wait to see if the Previous Owners (POs) planted tulips, for example. Lucky for us, the POs were obsessed with their yard and they prescribed to a No Mowing philosophy. They have landscaped the CRAP out of the lawn. My mother is quite the gardener and even she wasn’t able to identify several things left growing in our yard last fall. For our small yard, we have no less than SEVEN trees and the backyard consists of a good 50% deck and landscaping. While I am sad that I will never be able to play croquet in my backyard, the lack of mowing is a definite plus. I am so excited about the prospect of lounging on my deck, iPod in ear, book in hand. When the weather is nice, I am a total deck monkey which drives X bonkers to no end. He feels like all the neighbors are “watching” us. I have tried to convince him our neighbors have better things to do than watch us read a book or eat a meal, but he isn’t buying it. It’s not like there is a booming market for fuzzy pics taken of us with a telescopic lens.
Despite the excitement surrounding the New Yard, I am still mourning the Old Yard. There was very little in the way of plants or bushes when I moved into the Old House – although there was some landscaping, it was completely empty. However, I wasn’t complaining since there is something extremely satisfying about planting something then watching it sputter through its first season only to take off like gangbusters in its second. That yard was MINE. This summer, I won’t be able to help but wonder, how are the things I planted doing? Do the lilacs smell even better THIS year? Are the burning bushes taking off this year like wildfire? Is the pampas grass taller than the fence now – will she know to cut it down early to urge the new shoots to come through? WILL SHE?? Is that silly twit that bought the house going to water everything enough? Will she fertilize correctly? Will she set traps or call Animal Control for the disgusting opossums and skunks, even though they go away eventually? If she has a cat, will she save chipmunks and rabbits and release them into the cemetery behind her? Will she even appreciate being next to a cemetery – the grim daily reminder that life is a GIFT, not to be taken for granted? Will she instead fall asleep on the deck at night under the stars grateful for that cemetery that provides so much sky? Will she realize that having a row of houses behind her instead would prevent the beauty of seeing black storm clouds roll angrily through the area?
Yes, I love the New House. It IS infinitely better than the Old House, it IS a far better investment and it IS better for our long-term future. I have to admit that even the New Yard is FAR superior to the Old Yard. However, I will miss all the sky that came with the Old Yard. In the coming weeks, I will try to forget all that sky as I scour the New Yard for spots where I can stake my claim and promote the New Yard to MY Yard. A yard isn’t a yard without a lilac bush and pampas grass, after all.