Allow me to first explain about my "yard" - by which I mean "weed-infested patch of 'cursed' earth that surrounds my house and is perpetually in a rainstorm of oak leaves" from the forest of ginormous (five of the nasty buggers dropping and shedding and collecting spiders on a THIRD of an acre is just cruel) trees on or thiscloseto our house. In addition, there are three jackaranda trees (really, they should call them jack@ssrandom trees for the nice way they really want to be huge bushes that weep pretty lavender buds and sticky, concrete and car-staining sap onto ... everything. Oh, and wait - a pittosporum tree (read: Pityandscorn'em - anyone who has one of these) that is now in the season of raining its sticky little seed pods over everything in a 30 foot radius. These lovely little things stick to your shoe, than split and deposit tiny, even stickier seeds all over the place. So right at the season that folks are wearing cute, hard to remove boots, S and I are hissing at each other to "take off your SHOES! For the love of all that is holy, I JUST VACUUMED and now there are flippin' seed pods all OVER the place!"
A) Remove and throw away all dirt for about a foot down, without damaging the precious strip of "city property" that I'm supposed to take care of, but do not own. It is there for weeds to grow in, animals to defecate in and the idiots who work down the street to throw their Coke cans on. That will cost extra (labor)
B) Install black plastic for weed inhibition and an elaborate watering system, preferably that doesn't make the oak tree roots rot, thus causing them to fall on our house and kill us. That of course, will cost extra.
C) Purchase (BUY! SPEND MONEY FOR!) new soil. Which will cost extra, because it will have to come from somewhere like, I don't know, Uzbekistan, where there are no weeds. Import tax, you know.
Only at that point can I hope to begin planting...anything. At which point the Evil Garden Elves (gnomes, perhaps?) will sneak into my yard in the dead of night and blow dandelion seed puffs all over the place, yank out my poor baby lavender, rosemary and grass plants, and install cacti and poison oak.
So with that knowledge in the back of my head, I was recently thumbing through our local college spring schedule. S had suggested that we take a fun class together, and they are usually pretty cheap. Imagine my delight when I saw the "Local Landscaping" class, which promises to help aspiring designers/landscapers to work with our local flora to create a beautiful landscape. "We could take that and than go home and work on our yard.. that would be cool," I mused. "No! wait a minute! We could donate our yard as the project and make EVERYONE ELSE work on it - and that would be MUCH COOLER!". Bursting to share my brill new plan to S., I managed to get out, "andwewouldjustdonateouryarandpeoplewouldhelpusforFREE.." before he grunted in his funny, not-now-woman-the-history-channel-is-on way,
"No, no, no - I don't want people coming and intruding here. It destroys our privacy." May I point out that we have a corner lot with absolutely ZERO a) fence b) privacy c) back yard area of any kind? I cannot set foot out my door without coming nose-to-nose with a neighbor, someone walking around the corner, or the posse of idiots that are "working" on the house two doors over. Yeah, its a real Tibetan retreat around here, let me tell ya. But all I could come up with was,
"What the hell are you talking about? The only time we have any privacy is in the bathroom, as long as we don't count Fynn.'
Its either that or I start selling 10 foot square patches to aspiring artists on eBay.