One of my favorite spots in my house is the kitchen sink. It isn’t always Mr. Clean, clean, a commonplace for hand washing, plate scrubbing, and scrap tossing. It’s my favorite spot because is I often lose myself staring out the window just above it. Not at the sky, and her ever-changing clouds. My eyes usually spot a tiny bird and follow her into the branches where it joins another and darts back out. Sometimes crows call out to their friends and squirrels hop branch to branch looking for something to eat. If I’m lucky, I’ll watch a plane cross from one edge of my window and disappear beyond the other.
My own tiny yard is always in the foreground, less attractive, and often ignored. It’s just the outdoor space between the house and the garage. With the shelter-in-place order in effect, it meant more cooking, cleaning, and staring out that window. And after a few weeks, (and having completed all indoor projects) I realized it was time to address my backyard.
I refreshed the uneven and faded red mulch. Added a new rosemary bush, strawberries. Unsatisfied, I bought a Lavender plant, a shrub, and a yellow, purplish daisy looking plant. I transferred them to new pots and, with satisfaction, placed them around our tiny yard. I was admiring my work from the kitchen window one day when my teenage daughter joined me.
“It looks much better, don’t you think?” I said.
“Our yard is garbage.”
I had spent a suitable amount of money already, and physical effort, but still, I asked, “Okay, well, what would you do?”
She rambled out a list of items while my mind started calculating cost. “How much will all that cost?”
She named her budget, and I said, “Okay.”
Her idea for the yard was lovely, and I couldn’t wait to see it manifest, so I went online and bought an outdoor rug, lights and added a bunch of items to my Home Depot shopping cart. (I’d already been there an embarrassing amount of times).
My girls and I spent a day and a half, pulling out all the red mulch and putting in the black. I added a large Foxglove plant to our collection. We dragged a dining set that I’d stored in my garage for 13 years into the yard.
I thought the yard project was complete, but inspiration disagreed. We added folding lounge chairs, a new garden hose, and a small vegetable garden, shepherd’s hooks to hold an ornament, bird feeders, and wind chimes.
The project gave me something else to do during April as well as something to look forward to every morning. My day always starts in the kitchen, now I enjoy balanced glances between the wild background and the ever-blooming plants and flowers in my own tiny yard.