Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Before and After

Once upon a time we had a tree. It was a lovely tree. A sugar maple. But all spring, summer and fall, every time there was a breeze, it interfered with our satellite tv. But it was a fine tree, so it stayed. Even though every spring it dripped sap on my car, and all its pollen stuck to the sap, making my pretty blue-green car a blotchy, hideous shade of neon chartreuse. And the tree blocked all sun from the lawn, so not even shade-loving grass would grow there. You know what grew there? Dandelions. Dandelions and, well, that was about it.

Remember the little plumbing episode I had a few months ago? It turned out Mr. Maple had inched his roots in to the exit pipe. So my plumber, Mike, explained to me that I should expect to have to snake the pipe about once a year or so to the tune of $200 a visit, unless the tree came down.

This tree was planted probably 30 years ago by my lovely across-the-street neighbor, Dan, who was besties with the previous owner. I went back and forth about taking the tree down. It was really a perfectly healthy, if inconvenient tree.  I even consulted Dan, a retired plumber, who gave his blessing, and his professional advice.

And so the tree came down. I figured while I was at it, I'd take down a pine tree that for years has been leaning evermore into the overhead wires that feed my entire neighborhood. I knew it would have to come down some day, and the guy was here today, so what the heck. Add that to the bill, please.

And then I discovered my (potentially) beautiful, sunny front lawn. But I couldn't put in a whole lawn from the ground up (heh) by myself, so I hired a guy. Who hires guys who apparently never pee, but that's another story.

I figured if I'm getting a lawn, I might as well irrigate. And if I'm getting the front done, the back will only look worse by comparison, so let's do the back, too. And think how much nicer everything will look with new foundation plantings instead of those boring yews. And you know what I've always wanted? An irrigated garden. (I even got Tom some of those dribble hoses for Christmas one year, which was an utter failure, as that meant having to disconnect the hose every time we finished with it, or driving over the hose each time we moved the cars.) Since I'm putting the irrigation system in the back anyway, I might as well swing one extra arm around the garage and do the garden, too. Yes, this is that garden, the one my neighbor actually owns but is mine to use as I please in perpetuity because three-owners-ago neighbor was an ass who thought she could mess with Tom Gentile's garden. Yeah, she's gone now.  Good riddance.

So long and short, I: cut down two trees, put in a 6-zone irrigation system, mulched and sodded the front yard and the back yard, put in new foundation shrubs and got rid of a whole pile of waste wood from the back yard.

BUT I saved two hundred Washingtons in the mix.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, it looks fabulous!! Good job!! Colette