Black thumb

Our backyard, 85% snow free!

Our backyard, 85% snow free!

The trees in our front yard are covered in little nubblies that will soon explode into big chlorophyll-sucking leaves. Two crocuses are getting ready to show their shy little faces in the back yard. Tiny little green blades of grass are trying to poke their way through our mangled brown “lawn.”

I am delighted to watch litres of liquefied snow trickle down Elmvale’s street grates. I really am.

Front yard, 80% snowplough sand!

Front yard, 80% snowplough sand!

But I must admit to being utterly terrified by what is being exposed to the world. And by the world, I mean my neighbours.

Why? Because I have the opposite of a green thumb. My thumbs are both black as the squirrels that keep eating our birdseed and suet.

About a month ago, a dear friend gave me a little self-sustaining plant. It only needed water every few weeks. Here is what it looks like today:

I'm sorry, Cynthia. I tried!

I’m sorry, Cynthia. I tried!

All of that said, I think most gardeners would be frightened at the prospect of rescuing our yard. Its list of challenges is truly epic. Here are my top 10:

  • no fence = no dog
  • uneven, lumpy ground throughout
  • weeds and mud instead of lawn
  • no defined garden beds the back yard
  • random weeds everywhere
  • patchy mulching in the front garden
  • sad, brown bushes that need trimming
  • hostas that need splitting
  • decks that need replacing
  • broken paving stones

Basically, I need one of those HGTV shows that will take two days to raze what’s there, then magically replace it all with a lush, low maintenance retreat.

I’ve taken to what I call aspirational gardening. I stand on our back deck, close my eyes, and imagine everything my yard could be. It’s really pretty in my head! Then I go into the house before opening my eyes so that I don’t slapped in the face by reality.

While I’ve got your attention, any great gardeners out there? Can you help me puzzle through the following basic gardening problems?

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At least I have David, JF, and Elmvale Bakery doughnuts.

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