Wednesday, March 18, 2009

My Front Yard Smells Fabulous

There was a point in time a year or so ago that we gave up on our yard. We had such high hopes 5 years ago when we bought our 1/4 acre of the world - I dreamt not only flowers but a cutting garden, fresh herbs and tomatoes, a lush green lawn, a hammock... you get the picture. I could write a list of excuses why we don't have such a botanical paradise but the truth is that we have four young children and not enough time to keep a lovely yard. I mean we mow and prune occasionally but for the most part our yard looks something like a dog track. Muddy and trampled. Plus, trying to transform our yard into a beautiful garden would mean that we would have to control the children in the one place that they can run and scream with abandon. So, we have learned to accept it.

Yet this morning on the way to Mass, something triggered that desire to have a beautiful garden. It was the smell of freshly spreaded mulch. That woody, dirty smell that a "finished" garden always has in spring. After all the spring planting has been done the mulch is spread signaling the beautiful doneness of the garden. I love that smell. It makes me swoon. It makes me want to grill in our back yard. It makes me want a garden of my own.

All of this gave me an idea: Just buy the mulch. So I did. I went to the garden center and loaded up that back of the van with enormous bags of shredded hardwood mulch. The kids made me keep the windows open in the van for the drive home because they said it stunk. They'll learn to love it. Once home we drug the bags to various points in the yard and started ripping. We mulched everything. Our barren flower beds, underneath our tree, in between the overgrown bushes. And while we don't have a beautiful looking garden the smell says otherwise.

After all of the work, I grilled a steak in the backyard and sat in my porch swing while the kids did laps on the dog track. Life is wonderful, isn't it?
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