This is the story of a mamma (me in case you are wondering), who had a dream. It wasn’t a fancy dream. In fact it was actually fairly boring. Being a city girl most of my life, I’ve always lived in apartments, even after I had Ash because that’s how city people live right? It wasn’t until my girl was old enough to run around that I considered we may have needed an area for her to exert all that energy. And that’s where my goal to one day have a house with a yard for my little miss to run around in sprang from.
I felt really bad for Ash because she always had to play inside or on the balcony, where I had constructed a DIY bamboo fence so she was safe. The only times she got to play outside were when we took a walk to the park, or I allowed her to ride her bike on the neighbourhood footpaths for a few minutes, before fear of her being hit by a car pulling out of their drive-way kicked in. So when I decided to move our life to the country, I was super focused on the prospect of finally being able to provide this thing that I had decided made up a normal aussie childhood.
When we did get the house we had dreamed of, I think we were excited for about the time it took us to unpack. The house itself was not fancy, we actually dubbed it the “spider house” after living there for a few weeks, because there were always spiders EVERYWHERE. Every morning when I opened the front door, spiders had spun webs all across the front verandah, and they always found their way into the house as well …eek!
The spiders were the least of my problems though, because the Better Homes and Gardens style backyard I had been dreaming of was actually all hills, rocks and trees planted in weird spots. The yard was completely useless for a playground. The only thing we could do was stare out the windows at it in despair. To make matters worse, the only tool I had to keep the lawn in check was one of those cute little hand push mowers that my brother had given to me a few years before in case I ever needed to mow something. Have you ever tried to mow a lawn with one of those things? I only got managed to mow a quarter of the yard in an entire afternoon. It was totally the wrong tool for the job, comical for my neighbours to watch though and extremely frustrating for me.
A few days after my ridiculous attempt to keep our lawn in check, the teen boy next door knocked on my door and offered to mow the lawn for me with his dads new lawn mower. They had seen me trying my best to eradicate the jungle in my backyard and felt sorry for me. Well I’m not stupid, of course I said yes, and I paid him for his trouble to show my appreciation. I actually had tears when I saw how much easier it was to mow that darn lawn with a proper mower.
What happened after that you ask? Well we gave up the dream of a backyard and moved into a town house with gardens that a hired gardener takes care of, because that “spider house” helped me to conclude two things. One, those yards you see in magazines require a great deal of landscaping to get them to look that way, and my other realisation, I’m not really the “lawn mowing and gardening” kinda gal. Not all of us can be you know, but if you are….the moral of the story is, you need the right tools to get the job done the right way. I’m pretty sure this applies to all things in life, but especially when it comes to keeping your lawn neat and tidy.
Have you had any horrible “backyard maintenance” experiences? I’d love to hear about them!