Landscaping=no little job

Jun 24, 2009 by

The wonderful Marilyn from Hoerr’s Nursery came yesterday to take a look at the yard (with nothing but sand), take some measurements and draw up a plan for the front yard landscaping. She was really nice and made me feel much less nervous. Why I was nervous, I don’t know…but I was DEFINITELY worried there could be a possible “code brown” incident. Something about the sun really sets me off. Nothing like being overheated and sick to your stomach at the same time. Thankfully I escaped with a landscaping plan and no tummy troubles. TMI? Tough.

Since it was 900 degrees (give or take) with a heat index of 400,000, I invited Marilyn to come inside and do her drawings. She accepted and I watched What Not To Wear while she worked. I love that show. ANYWAY. I explained to her up front that there wasn’t much I didn’t like (I honestly believed that at the time)…except pink (ok in small doses), Bradford Pear trees (smell like rotten crotch when they bloom–side note: they had these all over Mizzou’s campus when I was there…April was a terrible month. You’d think someone might have thought about that before they planted 400 of the rotten bastards.) and dandelions. Why anyone would purposely plant dandelions, I don’t know…but the farmer across the road plants ragweed (which I would also have thought impossibly stupid), so I figured I better just put that out there. I’m sure Marilyn had quite a laugh about that.

As it turns out, there are a lot of things I don’t like. Wild grasses, shrubs of pretty much any kind, and most yellow flowers. Irises are ok, but the rest, eh…I could do without ’em. Marilyn was very nice and asked me about a couple flowers before she put them in the design (you’d think more designers would do this), and when I brought out the laptop and started googling, well, she thought I was a genius. What can I say? I love her.
Side note: Don’t most people do this? Who knows what a viburnum is without google or a horticulture degree?

The only real bump in the road was about half way through the process when she was asking what I “do all day.” Ahem. I suppose a lot of people might wonder this since I’m kind of a glorified housewife w/ no kids. It’s really not her fault, I guess. It’s an honest question, and when I explained some of my hobbies, she dropped it.

Maybe I’m just being defensive and overly sensitive (moi? never.), and I’m not picking on her specifically –she just happened to be the last one to ask me– but it’s a little tiring to have to explain myself constantly, as if I’m doing something wrong by “not working,” not to mention IN MY OWN HOUSE to a STRANGER who I AM PAYING. Ugh. Then again, maybe that explains it all right there. Why do I feel like I have to explain myself to anyone, let alone a stranger, in my own house, who I am paying to work for me. I should just be able to say, “nothing and I love it,” and not have to say another word. (Even though that’s totally not an accurate statement.) I think the common denominator is my own insecurity, but whatever. Is it possible to be happy, believe you are doing the right thing and still be insecure about it? It must be, because that’s what’s going on, apparently!

On the flip side, I challenge anyone to live on a farm and not “work.” When you live amongst your work, you can’t just close the door at 5 pm and call it a day. I suppose those who have never experienced it can’t quite understand. Come down. I’ll let you experience it allllll you want.

Anyway, Marilyn finishes up her design and kinda goes over it with me and mentions she’s going to eat at Just Like Home in Manito. I’d told her about the Goofy Ridgians (children of the corn–literally) and warned her to go back the way she came, not take the shortcut on “county road 15” as Adam’s buddy calls it.

After Adam looked at the plan, he noticed a lot of bushes, and became concerned that they would cover up a lot of the brick/house and wondered if they could be replaced with something else. Also, there was some wild grass in there which, truthfully, neither of us understood why we’d pay to plant wild grass when there’s acres upon acres of CRP wild grass in the back yard. So I was left with the task of calling Marilyn back and explaining all of this via voicemail. I honestly considered trying to figure this out on my own and not even calling her back, because the poor woman worked for 2 hours on the design and he wants to change 50% of it. Either way, I made the call, left the voicemail and waited.

Marilyn called me back this morning with what is one of the funniest stories I’ve ever heard about the local area. She said, “well, I got your voicemail, but first I just have to tell you that you were right about the people in town!” Now, I’m thinking, why the F did she go to the ridge? I TOLD her what it was like and she is too suburban to handle those ridge rats! As it turns out, she was referring to Manito.

Marilyn did go eat at Just Like Home after she left and said allll the people in there (since they didn’t recognize her or the Hoerr’s jeep) wanted to know who she was and what she was doing there. When she explained what her job was and that she’d been doing a landscape design they were like…
“You did a design?”
“In this area?”
“In Manito?”
“Was it in town?”
She said no, it was in Topeka.
“Topeka? I live in Topeka! Who was it?”
Naturally she couldn’t say without our permission.
“Was it a new house or an old house?”
“I bet it was so and so’s house, they just built one.”
“What road was it on? Do you remember?”
Naturally, she couldn’t remember (who could remember a random country road number?)
“Well, what did she look like?”

Wow. We are the talk of the town and they don’t even know who we are. Who knew Chateau de Goofy would be such an overnight sensation? 😉

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