The grass is always greener ..... in the neighbor's yard!

If it's not one thing it's another. After just about surviving the especially harsh winter this year, BigB and I were really looking forward to summer. Visions of backyard barbecues, cosy picnics by the lake, hiking or long walks dominated our thoughts. Unfortunately, spring/summer in the American Mid-West is dominated by the scariest weather feature of them all - tornadoes.

The first time the weather sirens rang in May saw me in full panic mode. I listened feverishly to all the radio programs about precautions when a tornado is imminent. Take shelter in the basement, they advised. Little problem here, we dont have a basement! Stay away from all windows, but the lowermost floor has windows in every room and so on and so forth. And it didnt help that the sirens rang even for thunderstorms. Every siren has me running around like the veritable headless chicken while all B does is take it as a sign that he has to retire to the lowermost floor, switch on the TV and ride it out. I wish I could be more laidback like him. I have to tune in to the weather channels and monitor the progress of the storm for all of the 5 mins it takes to move away. I know my mental image is of the twister-type clouds cutting a swathe through my backyard, after about 7-8 sirens this year I have calmed down somewhat but I know that the next siren will still leave me with my heart jumping into my throat. Anyways, it's almost the end of June, and that's when the tornadoes taper off ..... supposedly. But that's what they said about the snow and the cold this year and look how long that lasted.

When the snow melted away, it didnt prepare us for dealing with the state of things in the lovely home we've relocated to - the yard that is. Before moving, I protested till I was blue that yard work, mowing the lawn etc sucks. B who's entire history is filled with apartments or maalis had no clue. I had a summer of trying to mow an insiduous weed-infested lawn which ultimately did win the last battle. My lawn mower's blades broke and I spent an entire afternoon on my knees hacking away at wrist-sized dandelion stems with a pair of kitchen shears. No fond memories those.

We ended by B promising to do all the work. But summer has arrived, and besides mowing the lawn it's become apparent that there's a whole lot of other work to be done here, trimming the shrubs, planting flowers, pulling weeds. It's amazing how quickly those things can take over your plant beds. Again, between the two of us we have a pair of black thumbs. We've even managed to kill off every cactus that had the disadvantage to be brought into our home so clearly, gardening isnt our forte. But, finally the neighbour's pointed comments about yard work and when we would get to it saw us heading out to the garden store yesterday and returning with a fine lot of plants, flowers and soil.

B is always all good intentions and loads of enthusiasm. But, his idea is to make a couple of holes, throw the seeds in there and the fertilizer and rain gods will do all the rest. '.. pretty maids all in a row ...' isnt his style at all. So, I had to herd his enthusiasm into first de-weeding, then making little rows then planting according to color and type and all that. I must admit at the end of all that work yesterday we were both pretty pleased with ourselves.

We now have flower beds with larkspur, lavendar, orange cosmos, petunias, lilies, dianthus (is that even a name?) and some other plant seeds all sown in neat little rows. I even have visions of a vegetable patch and was already dreaming of plucking my own chillies and tomatoes from the backyard. Of course, that I forgot to actually buy any chilly seeds or tomato creepers is another story altogether. And I forgot to buy pots to plant them in. But there's always the next time. In the meanwhile, we'll see how long the enthusiasm lasts and how long we remember to water those plants.

But, when we moved here earlier this year, it was to prepare us for the experience for ultimately owning our own home. And I take all these experiences as things learned for the future. For instance, I now know that if I ever have to do the yard work myself, I will never have a willow tree in my backyard. While being the most beautiful tree around, it also requires the most work. Almost every day this thing will shed it's leaves and branches in the manner of one possessed and every weekend it's upto poor B to rake it all up and dispose of it. Why am I complaining? Just because ....

And the best lesson that I have learned is when we do buy, we'll look for a neighborhood with an association. The kind which will hire gardeners, or people to shovel the driveway and other things like that. B isnt all that convinced, he still (supposedly) loves doing the yard work but we'll see what kind of a toll the long summer takes ....


S said...


This remindes me that we are trying our level best to revive the plants n pots :D

One week he says don't put water in them as it is raining, though I don't agree with him, I agree and do nothing. Then next week he comes n says how come plants are dying, point proven today he left with the instruction please put water in them ha ha ha.

This threat of turnado remindes me of the cyclone we had survived in Jamnagar. That year we were caught unware and lived w/o electricity n water for a week. And the nex year we were prepared and kept waiting for it to come and it changed its route at the last min :)) thats life...


Mama - Mia said...


good to see familar faces blogging!! :)

just reading about all that hardwork got me all tired!! hope you find a place with maalis et all!!

and photos of pretty gardens please!!



couchpapaya said...

S - hehe ya i know all abt reviving those things. my plants get transfusions when my parents come visit, otherwise they're sadly neglected. who's 'he'? hubby?? i hate weather calamities, esp because they're so random. luckily we havnt had any exp. like urs, no electricity, water etc (touching wood here) ..... u've reminded me i must prepare better for such an event!!!

abha!!! good to see u here :) i know!! as if it isnt enough having to do the housework all the ppl here enthusiastically spend time overhauling their gardens too. i was just so proud of actually doing so much work that i just had to post :P i think now i can sink back into a month of more leisure activity .... photos will follow, definitely. right now, it's all little stubs and seeds ....

S said...

yup he is my hubby :)

WhatsInAName said...

err... you just reminded me of my overgrown and untended plants. This sunday is for you, my babies! :-D
BTW, the snaps are pretty and why not? The amount of hardwork you put in!
May the grass "grin" in your garden too :)

couchpapaya said...

WIAN - oh i hope the grass keeps gr'i'nning too :( as for the flowers lol those were the least work, bought them as is and hung them outside. and the most imp thing, took a pic of them immediately. dont ask for pics a while week from now and u wont see dead/drying flowers :S


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