Monday, August 14, 2006

Garden, take 2

I just returned from a late walk with the dog, doing the usual circuit around the block to get him settled in for the evening. As I approached our old house in the dusk, our former next-door neighbor approached from the opposite direction, smiling at me in the semi-dark. The first thing she said to me was, "Boy, I bet you're sad to see so many of your plants dying there. I don't think they've watered them at all!"

My poor garden! There are several things crisp beyond hope now: a variegated hydrangea that brightened up a dark corner of the yard under an old crepe myrtle, my huge, purple-flowered butterfly bush, a large (and expensive) angel's trumpet that I put in just this year, a stand of lavender-flowered phlox, a perennial geranium...and the list goes on.

Husband ran into the new owners on the street last week and actually volunteered to loan them a sprinkler. They declined, saying they had one, but were just so overwhelmed with the move that they hadn't gotten to it, felt terribly guilty about it, planned to water everything at their first opportunity, blah blah blah. It's been 2 weeks now and my beautiful garden is probably at least half-dead. If I'd know they were going to totally neglect it I would have dug some stuff up and taken my chances with replanting in the summer heat at the new place. At least I would've watered them! This is very sad to me.

Today I went into the way-back of our yard for the first time ever. For some mysterious reason, the previous owners of this house fenced in only part of the full back yard, excluding a good third of the space back there--very puzzling. Anyways, it's a small jungle behind the fence, as I verified this morning. The to-do list we'll have to get started on to even make the space for a new backyard garden is too overwhelming to even think about for very long. It goes something like this:

  1. Pull up poison ivy while it still has leaves and can be identified easily.
  2. Bushwhack all the seriously self-seeding poke weed NOW before the seeds ripen and drop and we have to do it all over again next year.
  3. Bushwhack horrible, prickly blackberry brambles.
  4. Somehow kill all the other noxious weeds carpeting various large areas along the fence. Husband wants to use herbicide, but I hate to do it with the kids so close by. On the other hand, there's a LOT to have to weed by hand, and I don't usually mind weeding.
  5. Hire someone to take out lots of youngish pines.
  6. Rip out all the chain link fence and have a nicer fence built that includes the whole backyard.
  7. Have a dumptruck load of topsoil--or maybe two--delivered so that we can level the yard some and route drainage around the house rather than directly to the foundation.
  8. Build a retaining wall to hold said topsoil back and border a path around the back porch.
And maybe then we can plant something.


Nikkie said...

I'm so sorry that they didn't take care of your garden! Thats just so mean!

That does sound like a horrid list of things to do to start a new one. I could be fun maybe :)

Amber said...

I'm tired just reading that... I've got to figure out what/how to do my garden in my new house- at least I've got a blank slate to work with.

Mama D said...

That just disgusts me. The yard here was in such an awful state we are still working to make it look even decent.

If I was so lucky to have moved to a house like your former one, with such a gorgeous yard, I would have done everything I could to keep it looking nice.

Knowing how sad you were to leave your yard and all your hard work behind I was so wishing the next owners would take good care of it!

Mommygoth said...

Lord, I've even seen your yard and it doesn't look bad! I hate that you have that much crap you have to do. But the inside is looking fantabulous!

Stacie said...

oh, I almost cried!! That must be soo sad to see! I'm gonna go and kiss my daylillies and tell them I love them right now.... Good luck with the new yard, and in a few years, the garden will be back.... That doesn't really help, does it?