My Backyard

Welcome to our backyard.

I feel, as I felt over a year ago when we first bought this house, that the backyard is a blank canvas, waiting for flowers and plants and general prettiness. Note the current lack thereof.

The giant arborvitae surrounding the yard are fantastic. Since we have no one living across the street, and the neighbors across the backyard can’t see past the trees, we’re free to leave the blinds open as much as we like. (We do generally close the front ones at night, so it doesn’t feel like we’re “on TV.”) We can also hang out in the backyard while the back neighbors are out and not feel funny about it. We’ve heard them before, though, and we have the feeling they might be redneckish folk that we wouldn’t be keen on chatting with, so privacy is good.

However, our next-door neighbors can see us from their deck, which is on the middle level of their split-level home. Whoever planted the arborvitae either ran out, or liked the neighbors at the time. Not that we dislike them. We just haven’t officially met after a year and a half. And their teenage son is kind of surly in that high school basketball homey kind of way.

Anyway, my someday-vision of the backyard includes a large flowering bush or hedge to shield us from prying eyes next door. Actually, they probably want their privacy as much as we want ours, being that their deck is raised up for all to see.

My vision also includes a border of flowers in front of the arborvitae, to create a cozy enclosure of natureness. And a picnic table from which to enjoy said coziness.

This is the vantage point (see photo, right) from which I currently survey our backyard. Sometimes, when the weather’s nice, I’ll sit on the threshold, on the back stoop (as my family would call it). There, in the doorway to the garage, I may read a book or harvest my parsley (why did I plant parsley? We don’t even eat parsley) or just meditate on nature in general and enjoy the weather. Sometimes I imagine daylilies lining the yard, or a hydrangea bush in the corner, or some vegetables growing.

One thing I feel really kind of bad about, though, is my death wish for the pine tree.

The pine tree is nestled in the corner of our yard, taking up space and not giving much love. It’s hard to see in the panorama I stitched together, as it lives behind the maple tree, in the dark space there in the middle.

This is a view from the back corner of the yard, and there’s the pine tree, on the left. It’s just about as tall as the maple, but much less pretty. There are sporadic dead branches, the thing drops a ton of needles in the fall, and the shade kills a good 20% of our lawn (which isn’t in the best shape anyway). The conservationist in me says that no tree should be cut unless it’s diseased or messing with something (another tree, a septic system, etc). The rest of me declares that the tree is ugly and is hogging all the sunshine and needs to go… assuming we can ever afford it. It’ll probably cost upwards of $1000, especially considering the lack of accessibility through our chain-link fence.

And that’s the story of our yard. Aaron and I agreed when we moved in that he would mow the lawn if I took care of making the place look pretty. I’m failing miserably so far. Come to think of it, though, I’ve been pretty successful with my snapdragons and my moonbeam coreopsis (little yellow flowers around the mailbox) and my calamint. Most of my gardening attempts have been miserable failures, though, due to my lack of soil preparation and my tendency toward plant neglect. (I require very hardy, very low-maintenance plants, apparently.)

So, yeah. Welcome to my backyard.

4 thoughts on My Backyard

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  1. oh, I like your empty canvas! It beats the two brick walls that lie outside my window and patio… at least I can suntan naked if i wanted.

    let’s see if that gets thru your filter.