It was dark the first time I saw our house 12 years ago. I couldn’t see the backyard very well. We live on a pie shaped piece of a cul de sac so the backyard light only went so far that first night. I remember asking Matt “How’s the yard?”
His reply – “The yard is fine”
You may or may not be surprised to hear – the yard was not fine! The yard was a hot mess. There were planter boxes that had not been put together well and were never maintained. There was a spot where the playground used to sit that was covered in wood chips. And the retaining wall was bowing outward.
Imagine my shock the first time I saw our new yard – on the same day we signed the paperwork to make it ours. But we loved the house so we could figure out the yard. Or so I thought.
We spent 10 years trying to figure out that yard. We raked up all the wood chips and planted seeds to renew the grass. We tore up the planter boxes and used the dirt to make flower beds. And we completely rebuilt the retaining wall so it fit together correctly.
We weeded non-stop to try and stay on top of it. And every year I bought different plants trying to get my yard to grow. I had friends give me plants that they were sure would survive. Most of them did but some of them, well, not so much.
I spent 10 years trying to make this yard into an enjoyable place to hang out. I bought different patio furniture, planted, weeded, trimmed – in short, I spent a lot of money, time, and energy. And no one wanted to hang out in my backyard. Except the dog. Who does not have very discriminating tastes.
I was so frustrated that when Wendee entered my life I sprung at the chance to get help with my yard. Have you ever been to that point of frustration that you are willing to do whatever it takes to find an answer? Well, Wendee had the answer and a magic touch with plants.
Wendee came out to my house for the first time a year ago and we spent the entire day playing in the yard. She tasked me with rebuilding the “river stream” we have running around the yard. She helped me build a pea gravel path to get to the air conditioner. Wendee decided that the extra rock needed to be used to build a pathway to the little table in the corner of the yard and we should plant succulents along the side. Along the way, she trimmed, pruned, weeded, and worked her magic on my yard.
Then she taught me about the difference between mulch and bark. Let me just say, mulch is good and helps your yard. Bark is just pretty and washes away. Trust me, mulch!
After our first day together, the yard looked amazing and I finally found some peace in spending time in the backyard. The mulch greatly reduced the number of weeds so the yard stayed weed free for the rest of the year. Plus, the bushes weren’t going out of control so it made mowing way easier. For the first time in 10 years we actually hung out in the backyard.
Wendee has been back twice since then and each time my yard looks better. This spring I almost didn’t have Wendee come out because the yard was looking great. But a few hours of her magic hands and my yard looks amazing! I am so glad that I had her over and so grateful for how she magically transforms my yard into an oasis that we enjoy hanging out in.
Why didn’t I hire Wendee sooner? Well, you see, I thought I could do it on my own. I mean, it’s yard work. I grew up doing yard work. I can pull a weed! And it seems ridiculous to pay someone to do something so simple. But I didn’t weight the cost of the stress I was carrying from having a yard that I didn’t enjoy. The frustration from not being able to do yard work right. I mean, who can’t do yard work right?
Three lessons from my DIY experience:
- After 10 years it’s time to give up and hire a professional. How much time, energy, and money are you willing to spend before you solve this problem for good?
- Professionals make their work look easy and the solutions appear out of thin air. We pay people good money not just for their skill but also the expert knowledge they carry in their heads.
- Getting the problem taken care of clears up head space. What are you focusing on that could easily be taken care of by someone else? What would clearing that space allow you to create?
Sometimes we are like a dog on a bone in our fierce independence to get something done by ourselves in our own way. What would it look like to allow someone to help us with that problem so we can put our brains to work on more interesting tasks?
Let me know if you need help solving any body aches, pains, or movement limitations. Let’s free up your body so your mind can go and do great things. And, if you need a landscaper, please let me know. I am happy to give you Wendee’s contact information.