Monday, September 28, 2015

The Square Peg - Landscaping Companies or Okay, I Know My Yard Needs A Haircut

The Square Peg - Landscaping Companies or Okay, I Know My Yard Needs A Haircut
© S. Bradley Stoner

Some landscaping company put a business card in my door... again. Now, on the scale of things in my neighborhood, my yard looks pretty dang good. Sure, there is some browning of the front lawn (remember my SAWS blog?), but with the rains on the way, they’ll fade fast and I’ll have to crank up the old lawnmower again. So no worries there. Maybe they are taking exception to the esperanza and Mexican firebush lining my driveway. Sure, they’re a little overgrown and could use some trimming, but they’re in full flower and I find the mix of reds and yellows among the greenery kind of pleasant. So do the butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds that are still hanging around. Or possibly its my chocolate tree (my regular readers might remember that it’s really a carob) or the leggy roses. I don’t know why they didn’t bush out like they usually do after the spring cut back... it might be due to the extra rain we got this spring. Other than that, my yard looks pretty neat and I’ve had no complaints from the neighbors or the HOA.

Still, I keep getting those stupid business cards stuffed in my door. Okay, I know that there’s a lot of competition for business out there... at least there must be judging by the number of different cards that keep finding their way into my door... and my recycle bin after a short trip. It’s not that I have anything against them, I just don’t need them, no matter what they think. You see, when I open my garage, there’s a whole panoply of garden grooming tools from rakes to electric shears.

Yep... I’m a fan of hardware stores. Matter of fact, I happily could spend hours there... and, according to my lovely, I have. For me, it’s like a kid’s toy store. I can never get enough. I’m not just a collector, I’m a user. Different tools for different jobs, you know. I’ve got a pole pruner with a saw mounted on it for those small tree branches that are out of the reach of my regular loppers. I’ve got an extension pole mounted chain saw for those bigger branches that I can’t reach with my regular chainsaw. I’ve got small hand pruners for those little pruning jobs like clipping the dead roses so the bushes will keep blooming and I’ve got electric hedge trimmers to keep my border privet, Mexican sage, and oleanders in check. I’ve got a Scott’s spreader for fertilizer and granulated ant killer. Oh... and I have two or three bear traps that I set should anybody decide to break in and try to help themselves to my tools when I’m not there. I’ve found that one mangled footed burglar gets the message to other would-be pilferers out pretty darn quick. It’s better than an alarm system, but I have one of those too.

Now, I did do some fall trimming of the trees, but my time was limited because I had a book on deadline. Well, that’s done now. I’m just waiting for that new bin the city is going to deliver to collect organic waste... you know yard trimmings and such. That will make things so much easier. I can keep things trimmed without having my regular garbage can over stuffed. When I do that the sanitary service truck with the robotic arm quite often fails to fully empty it. A couple of bags of garbage tumble out into the truck’s maw, and the operator thinks he’s done, unless I get the good driver who gives the bin a shake to make sure. Anyway, the city will now come pick up my trimmings on a weekly basis so I don’t have to wait for one of the biannual brush pickups.

I’ll grant you, I may have over-planted a bit, but who knew that chocolate tree was going to be such a monster? Who knew that it would keep blooming from early May until the first heavy frost? And the first couple of years, the esperanza and Mexican firebushes were small and made a lovely border to my driveway, their colors set off nicely by the black mulch that surrounded them. It looked tons better than the scraggly grass with all those half-buried plaster disks with cutesy garden sayings and little critters that lined the drive before. It still does, but I know I’m going to have to give the front a haircut... get things back to neat and tidy. Yep, all will be in balance once again.

I just went to check my mail... guess what? I had another dad-gummed business card in my door. Si Señor Salazar Landscaping Gives You More! Hey Pepe... I’d rather do it myself! Besides... I used to do this for a living... granted it was a little less than half a century ago, but it’s not the kind of thing you forget.