Our yard is full of rare trees, shrubs & plants - some of which aren't even meant to be grown in our area of the country. The previous homeowners were arborists and actually ran a full fledged landscaping business out of the house. They had a greenhouse on the property and were very passionate about this yard. The time, care & love literally just radiates from the yard. It's awesome. Here's the irony of it - I've never had what you'd call a "green thumb". I have actually managed to kill every house plant I ever had by way of over or under watering, and one actually met it's demise after an incident involving a bissel steam cleaner with a faulty hose attachment...but we won't go there right now. Anyway, I haven't cared for a house plant (or anything green) for quite some time....which actually works out since there are florists and garden centers in the area who have me on a "Do Not Sell To" list. I've been "blackballed" my most plant & flower retailers in the Boston area, as well.
So you can see the irony here. When Brian & I first looked at the house it was in January - the ground was snow covered, and although we could tell there were lots of a trees and a nice yard - we had NO IDEA what kind of work would be involved. By the time we closed on the house and moved in, it was summer and we looked around the yard admiringly, and kind of assumed the work was already done and that the yard was "self sufficient". I'm not kidding - we actually had a conversation about the yard maintaining itself. That's how clueless we were. The previous owner had left us a folder of information we may need at some point, and some basic instructions on caring for some of the trees. There was a paper with the name of a gardening company noting it was the place they used to prune the dogwood. After an exhaustive search of the yard, I couldn't locate the dogwood. I googled it, and as it turned out - the dogwood was the big tree right outside the kitchen window. Right...of course...the dogwood...I knew that.
So we did nothing that summer...it was all we could do to move in and get settled with 2 kids under 2. We figured we'd deal with the yard the next year. Flash scene to the following May when the yard had basically taken on a life of it's own and transformed itself into a jungle - you couldn't get through it without a machete. There were troops practicing military operations in the brush, crawling around in the tall grass with black paint under their eyes. Shipwrecks that had gone missing from years past were located in a remote corner of the yard, and we actually found 2 members of the former 80's band "A HA" back there. After they performed a rendition of the hit "Take On Me", they were on their way and we realized it was time we put our focus on the yard. It was WAYYYYYYY more work than we had ever anticipated. It's kind of like purchasing a house that, unbeknownst to you, has a fully functioning Dunkin' Donuts in the basement. When you first move in and discover it... the wafting smell of coffee and muffins, you think COOL. But then you realize that workers are showing up at 4am to start their shifts and the time clock is in your bedroom, and you're responsible for growing the coffee beans to supply said Dunkin Donuts. Well suddenly it's way more than you bargained for. So we called for help and thankfully, John showed up. Or, as we like to call him - The Google Of Gardeners. Needless to say he whipped this yard into shape in no time.
And here I am...going on the 3rd summer in this house and I'm really getting to know my yard :) I can appreciate the needs of my dogwood, and the plants no longer cower when they see me coming. I'm actually going to try my hand at a garden this year. It's going to be an indoor vegetable garden on a screened in porch. I'm cleaning out the area now to make way for planters. I'll be planting over the next few weeks...and the kids are very excited about it, too. I'm excited to be following through with this project and learning more about gardening. I'll be posting pics of our progress...and honestly I will be SO excited if I can get anything edible to grow. Oh, and also if I can get my kids to eat any of the veggies. Time to put on my fake glasses & mustache so I can go incognito to purchase my garden supplies.