I enjoy working in my yard. When I lived on base while I was in the Air Force, you had to take care of your yards so when/if the Colonels and Generals drove through, they wouldn’t make a negative comment about your yard and say something like, “Why does that airman have two vehicles torn apart in his front yard?” If that happened, then all hell would break loose as the word would go through your chain of command and you would get called in to your commander’s office and the commander would explain to you how keeping your yard looking good was part of your mission in the Air Force. He would explain to you that if your grass was over three inches tall in your yard, the planes could not take off on time or something like that. Of course, you believed him; he was your commander.
So anyway, I learned to love yard work.
Here in Montana, I live between two completely opposite thinking neighbors in regards to their yards.
The one that has a bad-looking yard believes something like, “Dude, the grass will just die in the winter so why cut it – let it live a long healthy life, man.” I heard that before we moved in, there was a kid lost for three days in his yard. I know we’ve lost basketballs, soccer balls and other stuff there for a few days. Our dog, a beagle, got into his yard one time and thought it was a hunting area for rabbits. He did not want to leave.
He has old cars, old lawnmowers, an RV that has expired plates on it (from five years ago). It’s a jungle and the city tells him to cut his grass about one time per year, and that’s when it’s done – but hardly any other time. So to help with the problem, we put a five foot tall vinyl privacy fence up between his property and mine.
The other neighbor is a geek about his yard. He treats every blade of grass as his child. I must sadly admit that the other neighbor’s grass is greener than mine and his yard has hardly anything growing in it except real grass because he gets down on his knees and crawls around looking for renegade broadleaf weeds growing.
He waters every day. A few years ago, they decided to go on vacation and asked my son to water their yard and mow it. My son said he would, so a couple of hours later, his wife brought over the “technical” directions for watering their yard, which were a few pages long. I first thought it was plans for building a missile. The directions read something like, “place the sprinkler three feet from the sidewalk and close to the neighbor’s property line, facing toward the street. Turn on water. Water this area for one hour and 23 minutes every other day.” There were examples drawn on the paper to follow with little pictures drawn of the sprinkler and its proper place for full coverage of the yard. I told my son, “Don’t even let any of that yard turn brown or we’re dead.”
My neighbor’s also like “Tim the tool man Taylor” and believes everything can be built out of wood. You’ll hear his power saw running throughout the day. I believe that everything can be built too, and you can buy it at the store.
The biggest differences between the geek’s yard and mine are a dog and kids. They have no dogs or kids. I have two kids and a dog. My dog likes to dig, but she is learning that digging gets her in big trouble. Of course, the dog goes to the bathroom in the yard and this hurts my grass, too.
I had a big victory this year as my tomato plants produced first. I also have some peppers planted and they are looking good.
So anyway, I live between two very different neighbors. As long as I keep ahead of the neighbor who has a junk yard, I can live peacefully and sit on my patio at night drink a cold beer, enjoy my yard, and listen to the sound of my neighbor’s sprinkler and his table saw.