We live in a brick ranch house. According to the real estate records, the previous owners had bought the house in 1959 for a whopping $19k, moments after it was built, presumably. It has three bedrooms and enough square feet for us, our baby, a dog, and two very large cats. It also has .25 acres of land, which doesn’t sound like a lot until you have to mow it. Or rake leaves. Or mow and mulch said raked leaves. Or haul a bag full of pear skins and carrot peels downhill to the composter…. then walk back uphill.
The previous owners did little to the house since 1959 with one exception: landscaping. Who needs to replace single pane glass windows and shiny shiny varnished knotty pine cabinets, when you can plant ONE MORE AZALEA. We’re assuming that the previous owners’ sons perhaps gave their mother an azalea bush every mother’s day. Or every Easter. Labor Day? All of the above?
They may have had some grand plan sometime around the fourth or fifth one that they planted, but then they started planting them all willy nilly. Then some of them must have died and then got replaced by whatever they felt like planting then and there to fill the void. Hydrangea? Rose of Sharon? Someone kind of knew what they were doing, because when things start to bloom in the Spring, our yard is gorgeous. Unfocused, but gorgeous.
That said, we’ve inherited this hodge-podge, azalea-heavy yard. Front and back, mind you. Oh, and side gardens, too – don’t forget those. This past weekend, we started a new phase of more intentional use of our copious green spaces. In short, we’re (as in my wife and her very handy co-worker friend) creating a raised garden bed in the back yard, for which to grow RR her very own food. While this is great and awesome and whatever, it means that I get to do some butch gardening.
I’m less enthusiastic about researching plants and sun/shade and what have you, but give me a stump to remove, or an azalea to transplant, and I’m so there. Sunday, I got to do just that, and I couldn’t have been happier – sweat dripping off my hat, the knees of my jeans stained with mud and dirt, scrapes and scratches up and down my arms from wrestling a massive bush into my wheelbarrow. Ahhh. All while my wife and RR sat in their sun hats on a picnic blanket in the front lawn.
There are certainly more phases to come in the upcoming weekends. I’m just sad that there’s apparently no more bushes or shrubs to dig up, but at the current count of six (one even while I was pregnant) I suppose I was bound to run out sometime. Hooray for butch gardening… and, well, Springtime!