Mulch and Mucho Gratification

When Robin, Isabelle and I moved back to Michigan from Pennsylvania, we found a great home in the right neighborhood and school district. It was perfect for Isabelle to entertain friends and for us to conveniently spy on her to ensure there was no monkey business happening – ha ha. πŸ§πŸ’ Robin and I had clear roles in our marriage about the house, I took the lead on interior design and he was in charge of the outside. He had a love for plants and possessed a green thumb that was impressive and allowed our green friends to live a long and prosperous life with us. Some for more than 10 years plus (no pressure on me). 🌿 Anyways moving on, we inherited an overgrown garden from a former owner who was into landscape and shrubbery. Needless to say, I did not give it much thought since .. IT WAS NOT MY PROBLEM .. until it was my problem. πŸ€”

Since Robin’s death, I have to be honest, gardening was not on the top of my list. ✍🏻 Thanks to my mother in law Bev, she kept the weeds at bay and bushes/flowers on life support. The real issue is that we have a large footprint including weeds, prickly bushes etc.. which requires a ton of time or the need for a large budget to conveniently hire a landscaping company. I did not anticipate the cost or time implication involved in external home maintenance – whoops!

When I lived in my parents home, I never was asked to garden and it was clear that my services were not needed. Maybe it is the Jewish American Princess coming out but I did not ever perform this type of work! My parents outsourced the gardening to our friendly lawn company. My teenage fingers never encountered Mother Earth and I did not know that digging in the dirt was actually an enjoyable pastime.🀭

About a month ago when I was approaching our house from a great run, I finally noticed how bad the lack of landscaping looked . πŸ™„ It was like the first time I saw this reality and embarrassment permeated my entire body. Does that ever happen to you? Something you never noticed before but when you do .. it is a real problem. This also occurred when I looked at my face one day and realized that I had no eyebrows (another story for another time). 😱 I then became super paranoid thinking my neighbors must hate me as I surveyed my unkept landscape. Our house was definitely bringing the property value down on the block and I had been completely oblivious till now. πŸ’° So after a few failed quotes from a few landscaping companies, Bev and I decided that we would take on the weeds, lay plastic and re-mulch. 🦚

I was dreading this project but had a burning desire to just knock it out fast and move on. So I took the first step which was to order the mulch. I was given a name of a company that would deliver it to the house. I went onto the website and it provided a calculator of how to determine how much mulch was needed. Between Bev and my poor math skills, we ordered 10 yards which would cover the front, side and back of the house. I even thought I was clever to have the driver drop two piles in strategic places instead of one big mound. The only problem is that we got the math wrong and probably ordered 4 yards too much. Just to give you perspective, each yard is the equivalent to approximately 7 wheel barrels. 🚜 Figures … that means I wasted about $200 and had to sort out where to place 28 barrels of excess mulch – ugh..πŸ‘ŽπŸ»

During Project Mulch, Bev served as the brains of the operation, taking me through the whole process and directing my work. Basically, I was in charge of stapling the plastic in the garden beds and wheel barrel management. She took care of the weeds and smoothing the mulch with impressive stamina and vigor. However it was tough work and she had to call it quits after a few hours but I was determined to be a ninja and get it done. With my headphones and disco music blaring, πŸ•ΊπŸ» I harnessed my super powers and filled and hauled approximately 70 barrels of mulch, up and down hills and valleys. Thanks to Gilma too… who came with an assist at the end of the day and upgraded my tree in the front yard with a mulch ring. πŸ™πŸ»

All and all, it was manual and mind numbing work but super gratifying. It gave me a chance to enjoy fresh air and be one with nature. πŸŒΈπŸ‚β˜€οΈI had been so used to sitting in an office with a phone glued to my head trying to figure out impossible and unsolvable problems that this was a different challenge. This work was simple and pure and allowed me to clear my mind. I felt strong and very proud of the accomplishment. πŸ₯‡ It was nice to see great results at the end of these few days. Maybe my next profession should be in lawn service – hmm..? πŸ˜‰ But seriously, I highly recommend some good gardening projects to uplift the soul and maybe drop a few pounds. I burned approximately 7,000 calories and walked 6 miles over the course of a few days which was an added benefit. I can now speak as a former J.A.P. (Jewish American Princess) converted to a Warrior Landscaping Princess that this was a great use of my time and leaves me with happy memories. πŸ‘ΈπŸ»πŸ’ͺ🏻. Also the house now looks amazing – woo hoo!!!!