I guess the gardening gene can skip a generation. I can safely say that’s what happened to me. My granny had the best roses in our small town when I was young. People would stop their cars and ask her if they could take pictures of her rose garden. Her vegetable garden was larger than any I have ever seen inside the city limits. My mother has won “Yard of the Month” from the Garden Club and she isn’t even a member. She spends her evenings pulling weeds and watering various non-native plant species that she has in every nook and cranny of her lot. By my pedigree alone my yard should be the crowning jewel of my street. It’s not. My grass is dead. My shrubs are overgrown stalks that my husband has taken to calling trees. I once had flower beds all around my house, but they are mostly gone now.
My mother thinks I am the laziest gardener ever to own a house. She cannot understand my lack of interest in landscaping and yard care. Whenever she comes over she tells me that I need to water the grass or use the weed whacker along my fence. She even comes over when I’m not here and trims my bushes. I don’t think that’s normal.
Is it my fault that I don’t think spending hours maintaining the greenery outside my home is fun? I mow the lawn every week (well, I did before the drought killed it), I also blow the leaves off of the back porch and patio when they start to bother me. I like spending time on the inside of my house. Why should I plant flowers and pull weeds so that the people driving by have something pretty to look at?
Does owning a house automatically require a huge investment in time and money on something I don’t enjoy? Seriously, I only see the front yard when I am backing out or pulling into my driveway. I do spend a little more time in the back yard, but that is mainly because I won’t let my ten year old son swim without an adult present. The lack of lush greenery isn’t something that is so important to me that I feel the need to spend my leisure hours slaving over it.
Maybe it’s time to stop feeling guilty for my horticultural failings. Perhaps one day I’ll even stop apologizing to my neighbors for being the second most unkempt yard on the block. Unfortunately, that day isn’t today. The little old lady that lives across the street doesn’t share my yard views. That’s her calling now to complain about the leaves from my tree blowing onto her yard.