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Gardening Adventures and Allan’s Regrets

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Privacy Trees

Pyramid Poplars
Privacy Pyramid Poplars

One of the first things I noticed about our yard was the placement of three pyramid poplars. They were so placed that it looked like the previous owner really didn’t like the neighbours or perhaps wanted some privacy. The second thing we noticed about them was that they were infested with wasps. Allan called a terminator company who told him that, in fact, there was no nest in the trees, but that aphids like pyramid poplars and wasps like aphids. Get rid of the aphids, get rid of the wasps. Allan wanted to cut down the trees to get rid of the aphids, but I was concerned that they would send shoots up all over our yard if we cut them down. In the end, Allan decided to just cut off the lower branches of the trees to hopefully reduce the aphids’ habitat.

For several months over the winter, Allan plotted his attack on the trees. Finally, spring came and after purchasing a saw from the dollar store, Allan waged his war. Baby Jason and I watched the action from the window. I had to go out once as it appeared that the lilac bush was going to become a casualty. He told me, “I’m just trimming it.”

Fifteen minutes later the battle was done. Allan came inside, “I already regret it,” he told me with remorse. “Now, we don’t have any privacy. It probably won’t help with the wasps anyhow since there’s still all those upper branches.” After months of planning, fifteen minutes brought regret. It’s true that it does look kind of funny, but I don’t mind or regret it. I really dislike the looks of pyramid poplars and would have been happy to get rid of them. Privacy is overrated, maybe we can just get to know our neighbours.

Landscaping Blocks and the Purple Tarp

As we have a sloping yard, we have decided to make a raised garden bed. Allan and I talked about it and Allan decided that he wanted to use landscaping blocks since they would look the best and we wanted it to look good for potential resale value. I started looking into landscaping blocks and they are EXPENSIVE, much more than we could afford. What does a person do when something is too expensive? S/he goes on kijiji of course. I began monitoring kijiji for landscaping blocks. Sure enough, one day I found a bunch of them. A lady was redoing her yard and selling her used landscaping blocks for a very reasonable price.

As we only have two small cars, I asked her, “Would you be willing to deliver?”

She replied, “I have no interest in delivering.” I don’t blame her. Each of the blocks weighs about 20 pounds each, or so I’ve heard. I have yet to lift one, I left that to Allan.

Off Allan goes in his little hatch-back car after putting down a tarp in the back to cover the seats. He told me later, “The minute I got in the car, I regretted wanting blocks.”

After hauling two loads and barely making a dent in the pile, he was done for the night. The next evening, we got a guy with a truck to help. After filling the truck and my husband’s car and spending a whole evening loading and unloading blocks, my husband still had to go back the next day for a final load.

Landscaping Blocks
Landscaping Blocks

After the first night, my husband complained in frustration to me, “I put down that tarp so that it wouldn’t get my car dirty and there are all kinds of little pieces of pink or purple plastic all over from it. It would have been better not to use it at all.”

For a moment, I was confused. We didn’t have a pink or purple tarp, in fact, I don’t know if I’ve ever seen tarps those colours. Then, I figured it out. My husband is colour blind and can’t tell the difference between some shades of purple and blue. I smiled on the inside, but chose to defer telling him that the tarp is blue until a neutral moment.

I’m sure by the time we make this garden there’ll be many more stories to tell. I hope it does end up looking good and not depreciating the resale value.

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