I look out on a barren wasteland this morning. My broken maple, my dying redbud and, as of yesterday, my power line-entangled elm are gone. I have an unobstructed view of my neighbors. What's worse - they have a view of me.
I didn't understand how much those trees concealed until they came down. All the ugliness of low-income rental housing is revealed.
That's a bit unfair. To my knowledge, all the houses within my direct line of sight have actual owners living in them. However, they are smaller houses and tend to suffer a lot of turnover without a lot of upgrading.
I have no real room to complain. Thanks to the oddness of my current neighbors staring at me whenever I go outside, the previous thickness of mosquito swarms sheltering under my now-vanished trees and a general lack of funds, my yard has little to boast of late.
This is the year of change. God willing, they'll be good changes, and I plan to start with the backyard.
I dug out my garden magazines and spent an afternoon last weekend watching Pride & Prejudice (the Colin Firth/Jennifer Ehle version) and marking interesting plans and plants in all of them. I intend to spend this weekend starting a planting plan, including smaller trees (I've always wanted a Japanese maple), a cutting garden (I can finally grow zinnias!) and a vegetable plot (never grown those before).
Rather than mourn my dear departed woody friends (the squirrels will mourn enough, I'm sure), I'll anticipate the blueberries, serviceberries, asparagus, scabiosa, lavender, basil and peas to come.
After all, gardening is very beneficial exercise. Why should an idiot like Mr. Collins get it all?