Forum: Waking yard from winter slumber a wheelbarrow at a time

After days of work, it’s a delight to revel in your spring sprucing. Until a certain visitor happens by.

By Greg Byrum / Herald Forum

Spring has arrived. “Oh, what a beautiful day,” you declare. The daffodils have sprouted their tiny heads. The buds on the fruit trees declare their place on the branch of life. The hummingbird feeders are mossy and ready for a fresh bowl of sugar punch and the moles have declared war on the lawn.

Donned with gloves, ant spray and pruning shears, you emerge from the cave that used to house your car and lawn tools but is now overladen with Christmas decorations and garage sale keepsakes. The focus: the fairytale yard. Only known by Gnomeo and Juliet, you endeavor to gain back what is taken from you every October. Nature has littered the lawn with moss, pine cones, tiny branches, and leaves from the neighbors maple tree and she has no remorse for her gratuitous embellishments.

With Ace Hardware as your backup unit and the neighborhood teen down the street as your assistant, you endeavor to restore peace and order to the chaos in the conservatory. One wheelbarrow, two wheelbarrow, three wheelbarrow, four, exhausted you find you can’t do any more.

“I’ve made some progress,” you declare to the family around the dinner table only to be met with conversations diverted to Facebook mistruths and what happened in a Washington 3,000 miles away.

All that hard work un-noticed by those who blindly walk by staring at the dandelion that is now 2 feet tall. Onward and forward you say to yourself. Tomorrow my goal is to finish the front yard. Day 2 you observe the neighbor has hired a landscaping service to spruce up their yard. Three men in their early 20s emerge from the vehicle like Jason Statham from a BMW prepared to impress.

What only seems like moments the neighbors lawn is trimmed, pruned and glistening and it even seems like flowers that don’t bloom in this season are kissing the sun.

Press on, you say. I can do this. After all, I wont be spending the money the neighbor had to to get the results I want. As the day goes on Trudy, Virginia and Bob walk by and have to share their perspective on the neighborhood, thus distracting you from your goal to finish the front yard. What seems like only minutes later the family is pulling into the driveway in their respective vehicles only to walk by and say, “Hi.” They walk around the wheelbarrow that is bursting with dead branches and old stems, jump over the buckets, dance around the shears, just in time to leap over the empty glass of sun tea before breaking it. Only 2 hours left and then I will be complete.

Five days later the backyard and side yards have been manicured to your expectations. What a delight to know you will only have to spend moments, not hours on this behemoth of a yard? The delight in knowing you have accomplished the yearly task of spring sprucing of your personal arboretum.

The neighbors will certainly notice. The first one to notice happens to be the Yorkshire terrier from across the street who adorns the yard with a pyramid of posterity.

Greg Byrum lives in Arlington.

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