Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Landscaper's Yard

I have a dream yard.   A large Magnolia stretches out in the front yard, with Hosta, Sweet Woodruff and Bleeding Heart resting beneath it's limbs.  The back yard is bordered by beds dotted with Dogwoods, Redbuds, fruit trees and Fir trees.  From March through November, bulbs and perennials paint themselves silly on a weed-free, freshly mulched canvas.  A green swath of lawn spreads out with ample room for strolling, picnics, and rollicking rounds of badminton.  A quaint vegetable garden provides the season's bounty, including fresh strawberries and blueberries.  The sound of trickling water reveals a small pond near a paver patio, with ample seating for summer barbecues.

But true to form, my dream yard is just that: a dream.

I have often worried what people will think when they see my yard.  The actual one.  If they didn't know I had a degree in landscape design, they might think that it was a decent looking place.  However, when people get that tidbit of info, they amp up their expectations.  This is understandable (I would undoubtedly do the same thing), especially when I am getting paid to tell them how to fix their yards.  But just as "the cobbler's children have no shoes", I have a yard that is nothing to sneeze at (unless you're allergic to dandelions).

So here are 10 Reasons Why My Yard 
isn't in Better Homes & Gardens:

1.  Tyler, Ryan and Lauren.  10, 8 and 5.  They're all mine.  Along with them comes the sandbox, the playground, and one rather lopsided adolescent Catalpa tree.  The chubby hands of one of my precious babies planted that tree and it's going to stay put.  Sometimes love shapes your landscaping choices.
2.  Oscar: our rather large Heinz 57 mutt.  He creates large-scale destruction on our small-scale property.  The pond that I dream of simply will not coincide with his habitat (nor will the beautiful lawn).
3.  The man of the house has on-going projects that stretch throughout the yard.  Refer back to the love-shapes-your-landscaping-choices on #1.
4.  My landscape is also my research area.  I love to try new things out.  Sometimes they work.  Sometimes, not so much.  Better I experiment in my yard than yours, right?
5.  I get bored easily.  Translation: I move my plants around.  A lot.
6.  Plants are expensive, even for landscapers.  I am a stay-at-home-mom on a stay-at-home-mom's budget.
7.  Around August, I quit.  I give up.  I wave the white flag to the weeds.  And they take me as their POW.
8.  Did I mention the kids?  I think they should count for at least two reasons.  Besides, kids need room to run, not Hostas to hurdle.
9.  My front yard is about 20 feet deep and my husband parks his car in front of the house.  Sometimes lawn ornaments are more practical than ornamental.
10.  I didn't take any turf classes.  And I have the lawn to prove it.

 Moral of the story:  Do as I say, not as I do.  Unless, of course, you have the same 10 criteria, and then, by all means, do as I do.


c a m said...

Too funny, Moll! We said the same thing about my dad and our yard at home. Until 4 of the 5 of us had moved out, we would help my mom plant Impatients in the front yard. Only last year did my dad get ambitious and decide to tackle the front yard - now my mom has a beautiful paver patio, light, and various bulbs planted (although the squirrels did get into those a bit...). You'll have your dream yard someday...and then grandkids will come along and change that dream again! ;)

Lyn said...

Mollie, I would be ashamed to give up in August. Because I'm in Australia, I give up in February. So there.

Design to Grow said...

Lyn, I'll be thinking of you next February when I'm buried in seed catalogs...: )

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