The picket fence in the background was something of a neighborhood project. Without the help of family, friends, neighbors and virtual strangers, I’d still be sulking around St. Pete, grumbling about my fugly front yard.
Oh, but I love my house.
Well. Let me rephrase that. I’ve always loved the inside of my house. It’s got a cozy bungalow feel. It’s filled with comfortable furniture, meaningful art, an adorable
toddler tyrant, a handsome husband and a fat, happy pug. What more could a gal want?
The front of my house, however, has always been a sore spot. Up until last month it had zero curb appeal. Our lawn was balding. Our once valiant attempt at a vegetable garden had become an angry bed of weeds, littered with bent fragments of metal fencing and forgotten plant markers. Our porch was about as inviting as a parking lot. With the exception of an overly shellacked manatee statue – a gift form my Oma – the entrance to our house was, in fact, off-putting.
We did try to jazz things up. Or rather, well-meaning family gardeners tried to jazz things up.
Two years ago, Oma took pity on us and came over when I was at work to lay down mulch and plant flowers in the sad beds by our front door. Despite diligent watering, her landscaping eventually gave way to weeds. Fed up with these failed attempts at beautification, we decided to let the one thing that wouldn’t die continue to grow – a frail Jacaranda tree in the center of our circular driveway that resembled a stooped-over geriatric.