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2007-07-29 - 9:36 a.m. manicures, post I today...

I hear the sounds of shovels in gravel and soil in the backyard right now. Our landlords decided to take on the back garden on Thursday of last week. They removed part of the fence and then brought in a digger to remove the excess dirt, flatten the surface, and then to re-turf the whole area.

I guess I'm not good at change... although I understand their wanting to have a full back garden that their child can use, I rather liked the wild, overgrown look that they had before. The previous owner was an avid gardener, and so the yard was full of about 20-30 different species of flowers that now came up spontaneously, depending on the season. The yard was definitely overgrown, but overgrown with so many colors and honeybees that it was a joy to look out over the porch.

The saddest part was the removal of the beautiful, full grown apple tree. The tree produced beautiful Spring flowers, and tons of delicious fruit last Autumn. I am a bit astounded that someone would want to remove such a lovely feature in a back garden. (K thinks it may have been an accidental removal as the landlord got used to using the digger...). Anyway, the loss of this tree was the real tragedy.

It was therefore a bit shocking yesterday to look out and see that all of the greenery had been removed and replaced with a green carpet of sod - suitable for a vacuum cleaner. What an energy consuming venture this was. Apart from the three-day digging, they used picture-perfect SOD (fertilized and grown for such landscaping applications, ripped up, and transported) to fill the back yard. And now our landlords have become watering monsters. There are always water shortages in Vancouver in August. I am sure that they are blissfully oblivious to such measures (and we share a water bill...).

Anyway, whatever, it's their manicured lawn, not ours. It's not our decision as renters. But, it makes me feel a little bit more like I'm living in a manicured suburb rather than an old house with a lovely, overgrown garden. There is a beautiful poem by a New Zealand poet about overgrown gardens - I'll have to find it and post it here.

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