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…