By Margueritte Licchiello WW — Guest Blogger
I love the outdoors — as long as the weather is beautiful, the temperature perfect and bugs and wild animals are nowhere in the vicinity. I was raised in the city, so my appreciation of nature is different than that of most of my neighbors. I enjoy having a nicely landscaped yard and outdoor area, but it should be zero work once installed. I love plants, flowers and grass, but I do not like to plant nor take care of greenery. What I like is the artistic part of planning a garden and, of course, the beautiful results.
Here is a perfect story to illustrate my sentiments. It involves an outdoor landscaping project my husband and I inadvertently took on in the beginning of spring. It began as “let’s clear the back area; it looks scruffy.” Then I suggested, “Now that the area is clear, I have a neat piece of ground to place a chair on and maybe my easel, too, to do some sketching or oil painting.”
My gallant husband responded, “We will have to place a few pavers there so you don’t get muddy.” Of course, because we are both type A personalities, in a fit of enthusiastic insanity it went from pavers and a sitting area for one person to a large ledge overlooking the woods. This endeavor required several trips to the hardware store for additional pavers, edging, countless bags of soil, crushed stone and pebbles. We also used three cubic yards of rock.
On the first day my husband and I dug boulders from the ground so we could lay the few pavers we had. He advised me that we would need a few more stones for the border. I popped into Pleasant Valley Stone the next day – where pricing for the stones threw me into sticker shock. Happily, while I was at work, in an area at the end of the property where the poison ivy lives, my husband discovered an old rock wall that must have fallen down the hill years ago and become part of what we nicknamed the “weedscape.” That fortuitous finding saved us about $1,200 – and a lot of labor dragging the stones uphill to the designated spot.
This whole job took about five days to complete. I was left with dirty and broken nails, calluses, bruised knees, a few bites from unknown sources and poison something or another. I’m still itching and scratching my legs a month later
At the end of the job my husband said to me, “Do you realize we did not have one argument while we did that?” No wonder; it was too exhausting to argue and do the work at the same time.
When the hard work on the ledge was finally finished, including the cute little scalloped borders, I went shopping for plants. I chose the spots to place them, but my husband did the planting. We now have a variety of perennials, bushes and flowers everywhere around the ledge.
There are plants all around the property in specially prepared and invented beds, pots and hanging planters. Why? I may hate to garden, but I appreciate aesthetics. I abhor the work but love the outcome. People who love to garden mystify me. All I can think of the whole time I’m laboring is that it will be over some day and I can take a shower, change my clothes, sit down and have some cheese and a glass of wine.
People wonder how I keep the garden in such good shape. For that answer, I’ll have to tell you the “back story” in my next blog.
Margueritte Licchiello WW is a writer, real estate professional, property manager and broker. You can reach her at [email protected]