You’d think it’d be the fence, because when a prominent feature of your landscape makes a statement like this, how could one possibly notice anything else?
Well. I notice, obviously. My OCD is so powerful that it can see into the future and notice all the things that are going to become problems once the fence isn’t there to distract you anymore. And let me tell you: behind that fence, our curb appeal is critically deficient in the “appeal” department.
But you might be saying, “But Sarah, why don’t you just start by fixing the fence like you said you were going to, and see if that makes enough of a difference? You might not have to do anything else.” But you are wrong. And I took this picture, without the fence, to prove it:
So I’m saving the fence-elephant for the next blog post. The elephant we’ll be discussing today is green and shaggy and awkwardly placed.
And it’s not alone.
I suppose there are plenty of people out there who think, yes, it needs some trimming, but it’s not that terrible. It could be controlled better, but it does provide some privacy, so why not just work with it? (Chris is one of those people. You guys should start a club.) But let’s be honest around here for a sec: The real reason I want this overgrown greenery gone is because it’s killing my mojo, man. It’s totally obscuring the new porch and the fancy new railings that I spent all summer building.
So let’s start with those two evergreens right in front of the porch: Chris wanted to keep them, but I wanted them gone, so I deliberately didn’t trim them all summer long. Because the worse that evergreen looks, the stronger my case for removal is.
It worked, kind of.
We compromised by leaving the evergreen on the right side. Chris was worried it would look lopsided, and I assured him it wouldn’t (because I’d rather get rid of one tree than zero trees), but he was right and now it totally looks lopsided even though I cut that leftover tree down to about half its original size. But this actually plays right into my hands, because remember, I wanted them both gone, and now the only way to fix it is probably to just go ahead and get rid of that second evergreen too.
Maybe I’ll go all topiary on it first and turn it into a literal elephant in the yard.
By the way, this totally reinforces my belief that home decor — and by extension, landscaping — is no place for compromise. Because now nobody is happy, because it looks lopsided, and what’s worse, Chris gets to have “I told you so” privileges about it being lopsided, and he will probably get to keep those privileges until next spring, when I go out there and completely violate our compromise by ripping the other tree out, at which point I will regain control with “I told you it would look better without those trees.”
Ladies and gentlemen, the key to a happy marriage: More or less equal possession of “I told you so” privileges. (Although in this case, more “mine” than “his” would also be acceptable.) Oh, and don’t forget that the ends justify the means.
So anyway, while we were at it, we also cut down the weirdly tall and skinny apple tree in the middle of the yard.
I thought Chris and I had been on the same page about this one for years, but then when it came time to actually do the deed, it turned out that he had doubts about getting rid of this tree, too. Doubts which I ignored, clearly to the benefit of our yard.
To compensate for the loss of privacy, we planted two new trees: A honeycrisp apple tree in the front corner of the yard, which I’m hoping will give us some screening without making us feel closed in. And some type of magnolia between our porch and the neighbors’, which I’m hoping will give us some pretty flowers to look at instead of this:
I know it doesn’t look like much now, but one day, in like a year or two, it’ll look like this:
And you know I’m excited for that day, because a good “I told you so” is always worth the wait.