Why I Have a Love/Hate Relationship With Yardwork

I love a well manicured lawn.  Fresh cut grass, thriving shrubs, and magnificent flowering bushes.  Unfortunately, that would be the neighbors yards.

I’ve mentioned before that I have a black thumb.  In contrast to my mother who has the greenest thumb alive (seriously, the woman can take something most of us would consider dead and in six short months have a glorious, healthy, thriving bit of greenery).

DH isn’t blessed with the lawn gift either.  In light of this, I’m thinking our children don’t stand a chance.  Because of this lack of know how, we decided to pay for a lawn service a few years ago.  Just the things that really escaped up.  I noticed however that the shrubs have been dwindling over the past several years, becoming smaller and more forlorn looking each year.  So the other day I decided to take matters into my own hands.

I went to Lowes and bought some fertilizer, some pest control (I do know that we have voles) and some bloom booster in the form that you attach to the hose and the water mixes with it then squirts out a solution of the stuff.  I also, dare I mention, bought five potted flowers, and three bags of bulbs that were 75% off!  Yay me!

Once I got back, I pulled out a drum liner trash bag (you know, the 65 gallon size) and proceeded to clean ALL the dead leaves from under, around and in the gumpo azaleas and the Helleri Holly (the one that is still alive–barely).  I’ve been working for two hours, and it’s almost 90 outside.  I spread all the chemicals, wondering briefly if I’m becoming toxic.  The whole time I feel ridiculous because I don’t even know if this will help, and it feels slightly like the plants are mocking me.  I call my mother to ask her advice.  She seems to think I’m on the right track.  I get a garden trowel to plant the first plants, and hit the drip hose under the soil.  Crap…  Yard 1, Dumb wanna be gardener (DWBG), 0.

I move on to another flower bed where I want the gladiola bulbs I bought.  I carefully excavate a long ditch to lay them in, open the bag and stare at the bulbs.  I have absolutely no clue which side goes up.  I settle on planting them on their sides.  I’m calling this one a draw.

I plant the three potted coreopsis with no trouble there.  Yard 0, DWBG 1.  Then I move on to the bag of Rudbeckia’s.  I dig a small trough where I think they will get the correct sun, and open the bag which is full of peat moss.  I sift through it until I grasp a long wad of tangled roots.  I look at the bag again, which says there are supposed to be six.  Hmmm….  I shrug and lay it in my trough like a long cigar and cover it with earth.  Still not sure who won that round.

Next on to the spray on bloom booster.  Hook up hose, turn water on, water comes out but no blue fertilizer.  Takes a good five minutes to realize there is a plastic cover that has to be removed first.  The Japanese maple is snickering at me.  Turn off water, remove plastic, turn water back on (why did I do this 20 feet from the faucet?) and spray again.  Still water.  The container fills up.  The granules don’t dissolve, and won’t come out, sprayer defective.  So much for “beautiful blooms”.  Grrr…Yard 1, DWBG 0.

Now the power washer.  Yes, a power tool designed to remove all grime, and my toe nail polish to boot.  This becomes another comedy of errors.  Bugs tries to start it several times.  No luck.  DH comes home, and he shows us how to magically start it (by a secret combination of pushing, turning and pulling several buttons and or levers).  We hook the hose up, but the washer is missing.  We raid another hose for it’s washer.  We put detergent in the container and turn it on.  But wait, there’s another problem.  The detergent container isn’t releasing the blasted detergent.  DH fiddles with it some more (mind you I have to keep going inside to retrieve him) and then announces that something is blocking it, and it is a lengthy, dismantling type of problem.  We decide to go on without it.  Bugs power washes the walkway for 15 minutes or so, then has to go to Boy Scouts so I take over.  I run out of gas.  I fill the tank with more gas and continue.  I use all the gas there is, and wouldn’t you know it, I’m short by about 7 feet.  Not to mention the thunderstorm that starts right about this time.  Final Score?  Yard 3, DWBG 1.

In case you’ve forgotten by the time you’ve finished reading this, the love part comes from well manicured, beautifully blooming lawns.  Not that it’s my lawn…

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27 Responses to Why I Have a Love/Hate Relationship With Yardwork

  1. Wow – what a mess!
    I can relate to the lack of a green thumb. I recently wrote about the pressure to keep up a good lawn in the suburbs. Unfortunately, our lawn is not cutting it (though the rans lately have even made our lawn okay). I still do the lawn – it is one of the few things I am capable of doing around the house. I wish I were handy.
    Anyway, I enjoyed the post.

  2. terry1954 says:

    that sounds like me to the letter. i don’t know how to do things, but i want them done, and if no one is around i give it a shot, sometimes losing money and sometimes it works for me!!! i am proud of you that you tried your best!!! hope something pops up out of the ground for you……

  3. sayvan says:

    Love the painted toes….. :)

  4. jmgoyder says:

    Hilarious! I can relate.

  5. Roly says:

    LOL Don’t give up yet!

  6. Janie Thurman says:

    Loved it. Hang in there, lots of gardening is trial & error, that old love/hate thing. Your mom has had YEARS of this and plenty of failures too. Just stubborn and keeps trying. Don’t give up on the boys, there maybe a gardener there somewhere.

  7. Wow, you and I sound like we have a lot in common!! LOL. And what’s worse is that I work with a bunch of gardening freaks who make me look like even more of an idiot!! Oh well!! Keep up the hard work! :)

  8. Patti Ayer says:

    That was hilarious-thanks for a joyous start to my day! Love ya!

  9. Colline says:

    I miss having a yard to work in – even though mine was never like the gardens of Versailles. At least it gave you an objective to spend time outside in the sun and fresh air. And that what gardens should be all about?

  10. I sympathize…
    Mostly, if it doesn’t have computer chips and a keyboard, I don’t do well with it… but, since the people I keep trying to convince (read: pay good money) to cut and clean my lawn don’t show up, and the lawn mower I bought a couple of years ago (used) just died, I bit the bullet and bought another one. It’s a relatively light electric one from good ol’ Black and Decker.
    Works good. Got my lawn cut about an hour and a half before a steady rain for the weekend.
    Whew.

    • I never seem to quite make it out of the rain. One time I was spreading mulch, and I had maybe two wheel barrels full left to spread and the rain rain rain came down down down. Glad you made it in time. Thanks for stopping by!

  11. robincoyle says:

    You need a shower. Sorry. Someone had to be brave enough to tell you.

    • You always make me laugh!!!! That was most disgusting. I had mulch and dirt and God only knows what else in my hair and mouth. Yuck… The boys took one look at me after I asked if they wanted to do it and they ran.

  12. deniz says:

    Hee hee, great post. I’m such a black thumb. I stare hopefully at the five pots on our balcony, hoping the plants that collapsed over the winter will magically revive…

    • It’s just not in my cards. (I say as I’m heading home with more plants to put in my garden). I’m hoping that the fact that they are shade loving plants, going in shade will make it a success. But who knows? :-)

  13. Madhu says:

    I would pave the entire yard if I were you :-)

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