Monday, September 14, 2009

The Wonders of Craig's List

I really am grateful that my front yard came pre-landscaped. It's clear to me that someone, some where along the way put forth a great deal of time and effort to plant shrubs and trees. I do think, however, that perhaps they mis-judged how large some of the shrubs would grow to be; that is easy to do and I have done it just with plants in my past herb gardens. But I really love the architecture of the front of my house, and felt that some of the shrubs were obscuring it. The landscape designer I hired first pointed that out to me, and I have to say I agreed with him.

We discussed re-locating shrubs; saving them by digging them up and re-planting them elsewhere. But that proved to be cost prohibitive, and at least a few of them I had decided were always going to be too large, regardless of where I put them.

I didn't want to just dig them up and kick them to the curb, so over Memorial Day weekend I put an ad up on Craig's List saying that I had free shrubs -- all you had to do was come and dig them up. I got three interested parties, and while I didn't actually meet the guy who ultimately come and dug them up, he must have had quite the technique.

I put ribbons on 10 shrubs, designating them as up for grabs. (The ribbon I grabbed out of my closet happened to be yellow -- my yard looked like I was waiting for family member to return from war...) On the Tuesday he was to arrive, I was at work, but I knew one of my neighbors was home, so I asked her to shoot me an email if she noticed a man with a shovel show up in my front yard, just so I knew what to expect.

About 1:15 she emailed: "Man in white SUV in your driveway, putting the seats down. It looks like he'll be there a while!" The poor guy -- it was a hot day, he was alone, facing the task of digging up a lot of well established shrubs. I hoped he had brought water.

I headed home from work about an hour after that. I fully expected to arrive at home to a man digging in my yard. But no! He, as well as all ten shrubs were gone! I was stunned. It really looked like the shrub version of The Body Snatchers had been there -- all that remained was slight indentations in the earth where each shrub was.

It was quite the front yard transformation! I haven't planted anything there yet, but I plan to put my butterfly garden there. I already have a lot of hummingbirds who regularly visit the blossoms on my Turk's Cap that blooms next to the Pecan Tree.

You can also see in the "before" and "after" photos that the straggly tree that was in front of the porch is gone; I cut that down a few weeks ago. Again, I looked into relocating it, but it was several thousands of dollars to do that. I apologized to the tree profusely as I sawed it down! I felt badly, but it really had to go.

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