I’m not quite sure what I was thinking when I first fell for this house 2 years ago. It had so many beautiful upgrades above the house we were in and they were all so easy to love. I truly found almost everything I thought I wanted in a house in this house, and then some – anyone else have a walk-in linen closet??!?! It had a lot 20ft wider than what I had and I couldn’t even begin to tell you how much deeper it was. It also has a VERY sharp slope at the very back down to a chain-link fence and beyond that fence is a beautiful walk trail, that I used to run, when I ran… …another time… There were also a few gardens nicely planted that were well beyond the gardens I had in my old house. I had a ball last summer, which was the first summer in the house, watching everything come up and bloom and learning what each bloom was. The honeymoon ended with the invasion of the Japanese beetles that skeletonized every single plant I loved – namely my roses and hibiscus tree. It only got worse from there.
These gardens and hill have become a tremendous stressor for me over the last little while. It started with our rainy spring that it seemed every day I had off it rained. The flowerbeds became over-run by opportunistic, rapidly growing, unwelcome weeds. I’m also no green thumb, so as the weeds grew, and I couldn’t remember really what had been planted by the previous owners, I became afraid to dig anything up because I didn’t want to take out the plants that I did love. And in being fully honest, some of the weeds I grew to love too as they actually did create some pretty fence cover and filled in the spaces quite nicely. The hill is a damn bitch to mow. It’s exhausting and not easy at all, and crazy time consuming. I also feel like there is no safe way to mow it. I’m a girlie girl. I’m not all that outdoorsy, unless you count lying on a beach in the sun. I hate getting dirty. I hate bugs.
It seems our neighbor took issue with our weeds as well, and kindly alerted the city to our little problem. The old adage still rings true, you can’t fight city hall. It started when he wanted to stain our shared fence, but didn’t say when he wanted to do it, and when he did I had zero time to deal with the fence weeds. City hall wanted to impose a timeline on dealing with my weed garden, but there was no way in hell I was missing a trip to Mexico to appease them. The battle continued after I got home, and the job was now colossal and overwhelming. I spent 90 mins one day mowing the hill. Yes, 90 mins. Another day I spent 2.5 hours dealing with half of the weed gardens, and finally finished the job on another day after 3.5 hrs more of work. For those doing the math and keeping up that’s 7.5 hrs of yard work over the span of 3 days.
City hall is now off my back, my kind neighbor offered me 2 squashes as a peace offering/thanks for my efforts, my hands are sporting blisters that are not healing well at all, my yard looks reallly bare now, my gardening gloves are trashed and useless now, I broke a rake, my husband broke a shovel and I still question what on earth I was ever thinking buying a house that needs so much outdoor maintenance. I’ll try to find the positive in this whole experience and say that it was good exercise doing all that work, and it was nice to be out in the sweltering hot sun so I wouldn’t miss Mexico too much, and pulling all the bugger weeds will only do good things for keeping the flowers I love alive, and parts of my yard now do look much nicer. I learned that not everyone subscribes to the mantra of “live and let live”, nor do they keep to themselves in a peaceful little life as much as I do. I also learned that squash is the new peace offering, which is a pity because I think I’d much rather receive flowers, or bottles of Grey Goose – but at least I now know what the new socially acceptable apology gift is. Squash anyone?