The real problem with shopping is that it can stimulate a desire for something you never knew you needed. One of the general rules in our household is to never go grocery shopping when you are hungry – or without a list. It is amazing what ends up in the shopping cart when you don’t follow this rule. Staying with that theme, as an aficionado of landscaping, it is with great pleasure that I browse this magazine each month, creating a mental “wish list” of all of the neat things that I would like to see in my yard at home.
My landscaper fanned our wish list flames when he sent us a pound of fresh-ground, great-tasting coffee over the holidays, thanking me for my business. My note back to him included an invitation to call and talk about what we would like to do with the backyard this year. His company did such a marvelous job transforming the front yard, that now the backyard pales in comparison. My wife explains that it is not so much of keeping up with the Joneses – it is just that our yard is now “out of balance.” You have to admit, that is a pretty good pitch.
So, to get things back in balance; we are comparing a growing budget to a growing wish list. It started with simply replacing aging azaleas, grinding a couple of tree stumps and providing better run-off for rain water. The list now includes a waterfall and, thanks to the cover of last month’s issue, an outdoor fireplace or fire pit. Some seasonal color is in order, I’m told, and we will just “see what other great ideas our landscaper comes up with,” she adds.
I am just hoping that we can get started on whatever the final plan becomes before the season gets into full swing, and our landscaper becomes over-booked.
When I consider that this whole backyard project was jump-started by a pound of fresh coffee, it is easy to realize just how much stock home and property owners take in making their living space aesthetically pleasing. That, and looking through this magazine, for me has had the same effect as going grocery shopping while starving – I am now in the market for plants and hardscape projects that I never knew I was missing.