Friday, April 24, 2009

Starting from less than scratch . . .

. . . can be a daunting task. This is the view from the back porch of our rental home in Illinois. The parking lot behind us belongs to OSF St. Francis Hospital. I've been itching to clean up the yard since we moved here last October but so far have only raked piles and piles of dead leaves and cleaned up some of the fallen branches from an ice storm. The next photo is a composite view of the side yard which is an empty lot between our house and the beautiful, original Craftsman home next door.
This is not a before photo, mind you, as I've already spent several hours working on the clean-up. We are told this is a neighborhood in transition. Additionally, since this is a rental property, the landlord provides a minimum of services which don't include cleaning up the landscape. This is likely why there is so much CRAP lying around. This view of one corner of the parking lot behind us shows the disgraceful condition the hospital has allowed to exist on one of their many properties. I hope they take better care of their patients!
Here's a closer view of some of what I've been cleaning up. On the positive side the soil seems to be good after years of living under piles of decaying leaves and wood and non-decaying trash. I've seen some fat, happy worms today and a couple of snails. I'm hoping whatever we plant will flourish. Another positive note -- there is a well established ground cover next to the fence. Maybe the ubiquitous pachysandra?
Check out the pile of branches that we and our Craftsman neighbors have accumulated. It's hard to see in the photo actually how large of a pile it is. It awaits pick-up by the landlord's posse. In the meantime, I'm thinking it wouldn't be so bad if a passing smoker would toss a live butt in there (cigarette butt, that is). In the foreground you can see what we think is a leftover tree stump and other dead foliage that now houses a rather irritating bunny who enjoys teasing our dog and making her bark. We hope to clean up this area as well.

Bottom line for this week is I've cleared up enough space to make my very first teepee and I've planted green beans and moonflowers which I hope will eventually provide a lovely display of flowers and the occasional dish of yummy vegetables. We have plans for tomatoes, cucumbers and zucchini as well.

And there can never be enough flowers!


Kuj said...

I realize you and Stepdaddy can't resist some form of gardening (take for instance the satellite photo of your house in FLA in comparison to the rest of the neighborhood), but how do you restrain yourself when it's only a rental?

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