Monday, June 27, 2011

Seven Synonyms for Shame

My latest insight about why Virginia summers are so abhorrent to me:  they show up what a slattern I am.  We have, by far, the trashiest looking house in the immediate neighborhood.  In the winter, if your yard looks like hell, you can blame the season.  In the summer, there is no excuse.  Gardening is not my thing.  I have no talent for it, nor any desire to do it.  I've tried--oh, how I've tried--and have come to accept the fact that plants and I do not get along.  I don't even like being outside all that much.

This year in particular, I've been stymied by a lack of motivation so profound, just getting out of bed requires Herculean effort, let alone making the garden look presentable.  Every other spring, I have started out hopeful, weeding and digging and wasting money on plants that were mostly doomed to die. This year, I did nothing, absolutely nothing and the front yard in particular is a horrifying jungle of weeds, decorated with a beat-up fire pit.  At this point, I'm pretty much past caring what the rest of the neighborhood thinks.  I grew up in an immaculately maintained house, and believe me, this doesn't bring happiness or any sense of satisfaction.

I present the evidence of my descent into sluttishness.

Back Yard of Disgrace

The raised beds of reproach:
Raised Beds of Reproach
As I predicted, the "two week" back order for a new dryer motor has stretched into a month.

The side yard of sorrow:
Side yard of Sorry

Front Porch of Destruction
Note the Christmas lights that never got taken down and Sancho, the badly-behaved dog.

Front Yard of Despair

Fire Pit of Ill Repute

The Path of Degredation

Tuna Fish Can Ashtray of Ignominy

So there it is.  We have made tepid overtures toward a contractor to see if he can turn the appalling "fire pit" section of the front yard into an elegant bluestone patio, but this would require a retaining wall and steps and having two kids in college has put a serious dent in our home improvement budget.


  1. I am so with you. We have a corner lot, so every bit of it is visable from the street. Oh and did I mention it was almost an acre? I hate it. I'm sure our neighbors hate it too.

  2. Belmont slatterns unite! The yard is a disgrace, there are so many weeds in the "grass" that we only mow once a month, the roof shingles are sprouting moss, the windows are filthy and no one wants to get on a ladder to clean them, I have no money for deck paint, and the ivy is threatening to swallow my house and the neighbors'.

  3. It's called character. Doesn't everyone want a house with character?

    I hate yardwork. Lucky for me we only have a handful of bushes for me to neglect. And the grass has been a disgrace since the month after we put it in 10 years ago. Weeds, shmeeds. Moss, shmoss.

    WV: facoital. Sounds dirty. Like your sluttish yardkeeping habits.

  4. Ha,
    Your approach to gardening seems similar to mine.
    I find the 4 best tools for gardening are:
    1. Weed Eater (Brush cutter)
    2. Glyphosate
    3. Lawn Mower (Ride-on by preference)
    4. Flame Thrower

    All else I leave to my beloved.

    BTW, the verifying word was PHANI. I kid you not.

  5. Oh I totally want to come to your house and garden everywhere! But alas, gardening takes more time and money than anyone ever let on (and I don't have to tell you!) so I'll sit over here and dream about your fire pit of ill repute.

  6. I feel your pain - another corner lotter who struggles with yard maintenance and plant ignorance. My only saving grace is my younger brother who often needs cash and is willing to work for it.

    Having said that, is there a way to recruit kids and friends to do a fun day of yard clean up? Seems like a few pizzaz and/or beer depending on ages can go a long way. The reason I say that, is my cousins are at an age where they don't mind doing a few hrs labor for food in order to get some sun and exercise. I'd be in tears without my family...

  7. I've been out of town for weeks. Got in late tonight. There's something growing in the tiger lilies. Tiger lilies are not 7' tall. I'm a bit worried that it's some form of wild lettuce intent on taking over the world.

    And really, I don't know how people work in this town what with the vicious daytime mosquitoes.

  8. Yard work is the mans responsibility.
    Man up Jon and cut some s#@t down

  9. I also am not a skilled or motivated gardener. It's a shame we're not neighbors because we could qualify as a white trash jurisdiction. If we could get our hands on an old school bus, we might kick it up a notch to commune.