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Home and Garden – About that…

June 3, 2013

I grew up with the romantic idea of meeting someone, getting married and buying a home together. Once in said house, I’d have a garden and yard to take care of and… Yeah. I now have the house with my partner, we’re planning to get married and I definitely have the yard to take care of. Everything is perfect, right? Just like I dreamed. Right?

Well, no one told youngster me that buying the house and maybe finding the right person to live your life with, was the easy part. Taking care of the yard, creating gardens of my own? Hard. Really, really hard.

We both come from families that enjoy gardening and the thought of fresh herbs, which are notoriously easy to grow, was enticing. So, with the help of my partner, I managed remove the 50-odd year-old shrubs from the one small front garden and put in an herb garden.  After a year, our little garden appears to be thriving.

Over the winter, I decided to research and design a raised garden bed for the backyard. We already have a small low bed in the front yard, courtesy of previous owners. I have no idea what they planted in it, but as detailed in an earlier post, I weeded it out, added several barrow loads of new soil and planted garlic and a shallot. Later this spring, I planted some onion sets and now have rather large garlic plants which I assume are thriving because they are large and green, but have no idea when to harvest and some fairly decent onions.

Success? Generally, I would think yes. Until we come to the back yard, which looks like the home has been abandoned. No matter how many buckthorns, sumac and other invasives I chop/saw/hack down. No matter how many bluebells and forget-me-nots I drag out. It still looks like nobody has cared for this yard.

I have removed approximately 10-12 bags of yard waste, and three or four bundles of ‘sticks’ since the beginning of May. And still it looks like an absolute jungle. I have ivy invading from next door and dandelions two feet high. I have to get my handyman to cut the grass or I will have to weedwhack it into submission. I may have to anyway. I am getting discouraged to say the least.

I don’t want to be that neighbour that everyone despises because their yard is an abomination to look at. How do I find the time and energy without giving up every single weekend to clean up this mess?  In amongst yardwork, I would like to have a social life, play some sports and have some time to actually enjoy spring/summer.

Late winter and early spring I was eagerly anticipating installing a the raised bed to be fed by my newly purchased rainbarrel.  My enthusiasm has since waned as I cannot find the time to get it in. I feel defeated by the rain, snow, frost and overwhelming herbage not of my own planting.

Maybe I should resign myself to having keeping a nice front yard and by the fall, maybe, just maybe I’ll have a fall garden. It feels like even the baby plants I’ve bought and been unable to plant are staring at me with disgust. Poor little things. I want to tell them I’m trying, but it still seems like failure. When did it stop being fun? And how do I get it to be fun again?

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