Neighborhood Dirt

Thought Number One:  Gardens in My Neighborhood

To catch everyone up to speed…I like to garden. (For my readers that have been around awhile, you might remember last year’s garden post about Lil Bastard, a ravenous rabbit that still calls my yard his “salad bar”. Just in case you missed it here’s the link… Hare Today Gone Tomorrow )

I say “I love gardening” in the same vein as others might admit to hoarding or binge eating…that is with a bit of “I know I shouldn’t be saying this out loud as people will think I’m either a nutjob
or old or both” but still…here it is…I like to garden.

As far as me being thought of as a whackadoodle.  Probably.  At least this is the case where I live.  Not so long ago my neighbors gathered in front of my house to have a little pow-wow.  Me, being the naive person I am, decided to join them and participate in what I thought would be the typical rumor mill type of conversation.  No…they were having a discussion on what a waste of time and effort “gardening” is.  Now you would think that because, I was out in my yard, knee deep in compost, pulling my little red garden wagon around with my supplies that maybe this conversation would of halted as the subject of the conversation came into ear shot.

NO…on they went with what a time and money suck gardening and yard work in general is.  For a couple of minutes, I tried to interject the benefits of monetary value on resale (added bonus to remind them that I am a Realtor…unfortunately another topic that repels them) or the emotional and physical benefits of working in your yard.  They were having none of that.

As the conversation went on, the neighbor from across the street went on to say that he had decided to tear out all of his foundation plantings as the caring for them is just too much work.  At this point, I decided to just keep my mouth shut.  Really, the crappy little shrubs that builders put around the front door here and call it “your landscape package” is usually three boxwoods with a Princess Spirea thrown in for color.  How much work can that take????

I am trying to be discreet while taking this picture with a zoom lens for fear the neighbor will be wondering what I am up to. He walked out of his garage 1 minute later.  I thought he would ask me what the hell I was doing, but he didn’t.

He was true to his word.  A week or so later, out they came.  All the shrubs have gone missing and now there is some type of drain something in it’s place.  I have no idea what that is about.

So for the last couple of weeks, I have been back in my yard for it’s seasonal clean up while my neighbors all glare across the fence with wondering about the depths of my insanity.

However, to rationalize my gardening is not without reward, this is a picture taken on the day our inspections were done when we bought our little money pit. This was 6 years ago on a very cold February day.

This picture is from a similar angle looking across my back yard now.  That would be six years and a lot of planting later.

There is very little color in KC gardens yet.  Our suggested planting date is May 15th to prevent freeze damage.  Most flowers are several weeks from blooming.

Thought Number Two- Gardens on the Tour

Last Saturday the Johnson County Kansas Master Gardeners held their bi-annual garden tour.  Given my neighbor’s disdain for me puttering around my yard, they probably need to prepare themselves for the possibility that a Master Gardener could move in here someday.   I think I will make a point when I sell this house, to sell it to someone that is really into composting.  I might even point out the logical place for a huge compost pile right next to my neighbor’s fence.  There are laws about discriminating against people’s creed, gender, religion, …really all sorts of things but NO WHERE does it say I can’t discriminate “in favor” of a Master Gardener.  I might not even show my house to anyone that isn’t willing to haul in some manure.

Here are some pictures of the gardens on the tour.  Serious gardens…..

My photography doesn’t do this little pond justice.  It was really pretty with it’s lily pads.

This side gate led to the prettiest of the gardens I visited. The woman homeowner is an artist by trade.  It showed in her garden.

There were brick walks all around the yard with interesting flower beds along the path.

Kansas City gardens are difficult to keep looking lush as we have both extremely cold winters that kill off perennials and extreme summer heat and drought will kill what is left. But this yard has it figured out.

I thought this was cute.  The homeowner has a little garden hide-away in the very back of their yard.  Seems their cat likes it as well.

A knot garden was prettier than this picture shows.  There was a man with an impressive looking camera lining up his shot and I was trying to stay out of his way.

A different angle but still not the best. Bet the guy with the mega lens camera got a good pic.

This yard had a lot of slopes but the homeowners still managed to put some pretty gardens in.

I added this one because at the back of one garden, the homeowners have built a little playhouse for their little girl.  I just thought this was adorable.

Cheryl - The Art of Being Conflicted

A veteran of corporate moves from which I survived moving 21 times for my husband's job. I currently am a married, middle-aged (if I make it to 116) middle income, mom living in the very middle of the country, with time on her hands to jot down observations, judgements, and musings about past and current events.

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