This post brought to you by Miracle-Gro. All opinions are 100% mine.
What have I been up to this spring when I haven’t been cooking and taking pictures of my food? Despite my previous complaints, I’ve actually been landscaping my butt off. Well actually, no, my butt is still the same size. But the looks of my yard have greatly improved. Here’s what happened: Two summers ago, we came to the realization that we would finally have to give up on the original sewer line of our 66-year-old home. At the time our house was built, those sewer lines were made of clay, which means that tree roots had been able to penetrate and clog the line ever since.
After having the line snaked about 25 times in four years by Vern the plumber, we gave up and told the plumbing company to just install a new, tree-root-impervious PVC line. Then, we were finally able to do laundry without the threat of a basement flood . . . but our yard looked like this:
Yeah, it was bad. Luckily, we weren’t too attached to the 80’s-style bushes we had inherited with the house. But, even our sidewalk was destroyed, despite the empty promises of the plumbers who said they would try to avoid it. And the worst part was, we couldn’t fix it up right away, because we had to wait for the ground to settle. So, I’m sure our neighbors loved us.
Fast forward to two years later, and one of our friendlier neighbors, Anna, and her mom Nancy (Thanks Anna! Thanks Nancy!) took pity on us and drew up some plans to help us fix our landscaping. Sure, Anna lives directly across the street so she was probably personally tired of looking at the eyesore that was our property. But I’d say her motivation was only 5% selfish, and 95% selfless. Many trips to the garden store and many sore muscles ensued. Knowing how well Miracle-Gro worked for my potted herb garden, we picked up plenty of Miracle-Gro supplies as well. Now we have this:
Considering that Jeff and I are always joking that we need “idiot instructions” for landscaping and gardening, I really couldn’t be happier with how it turned out (especially when we start to get some blooms from the day lillies and hydrangeas). I feel great about the fact that we’re not just growing plants, we’re growing curb appeal! After two years of seeing people wince and glare when they walked by the dinosaur excavation site that was our “yard,” it’s nice to be on the right track again.
Not only has Miracle-Gro helped me beautify my home, but it’s continued to help me grow flavor for my kitchen. My chive plant is doing great! It’s been nice to have some “free flavor” just outside my side door, because after a long evening of working on the landscaping, the last thing I want to do is fuss over dinner. To be honest, some nights while we were working on this, we basically had guacamole and other assorted snacks for dinner. One of my favorite new versions is this Asian Sesame Guacamole, made with sambal oelek, black sesame seeds, and lots of fresh chives from my herb garden. It’s a fun twist on guacamole, and it’s perfect served with crunchy wonton strips!
What greater things do you grow? Have you also been working on your landscaping? Do you grow vegetables or herbs? Share your stories in the comments below and on the Gro Something Greater website.