Sunday, May 22, 2011

We Bought a Bloody Rainforest!

In January of this year, we bought a new house.  It is a huge 4500+ square foot Victorian "Mansion".  I put that one in quotes because we were also looking at a 32,000 square foot home on 64 acres that would run $62,000 a year in property taxes alone, at the time.  So, we settled for something more practical, not to mention, my small pittance of a paycheck wouldn't have even covered the bill.

The house sits in an old area of town on a half acre plot of land.  The previous owners had used it as a bed and breakfast and had developed a landscaping disease.  There were heart shaped rock formations, surrounded by that black rubber crap from the local big box hardware store.  Two grotesque looking lions guarded the front sidewalk - immoveable, on account of the rough, diamond shaped concrete pads they sat on.  Every tree known to man had been introduced to the landscape, forced into zone four, regardless of hardiness.

The much loved and much hated Arborvitae, in the form of a tree, grew taller than the house at one corner.  The bush form tried to cover the massive front window.  At forty degrees below zero, we watched that evil bush grow six inches in three days.  I firmly believe that, if we wanted to forest Antarctica and Death Valley, we could use Arborvitae.  I looked up the ideal growing zones for that garbage and there wasn't one growing zone, save a few of the nine moons of Jupiter that weren't included.  Arborvitae, along with the mosquito, were created the day Adam ate the grapefruit.  It just wasn't recorded in most versions of the Bible.

There were two small plastic ponds, a large water fountain, five million lights connected to switches and sockets by five hundred miles of electrical cords buried an inch or so underneath the grass.  A bulbous something or other sat in the middle of the back yard.  It was made of some hardened clay and was assumed to be a small fireplace but doesn't matter anymore because the kids shattered it.  All that crap and more.

But, the trees!  There are so many of them.  I don't know the brands, so I'll just name them by color.  There are about twenty brown trunked ones with green leaves, a grove of brown ones with smooth green needles, a white trunked one with really cool green leaves, and a bunch of really bushy brown ones that have these really smelly purple flowers all over them.  (The arborvitae was cut down the minute the snow melted).  What were these guys thinking!!!!

My little brussels sprout brought home a cabbage plant from school and asked me to plant it in the yard.  So I did.  It was in a fine sunny spot under a large tree.  The day was bright with sunshine and a little nippy in the early spring.  I knew a cabbage needed a fair amount of sun and the spot was just right.  Being that it was small, I figured the sticks and buds on the tree branches would split some of the hard falling rain drops forecast for that week and thus the small cabbage shoot wouldn't be smashed into the ground.

A week later, the leaves were out on the trees.  I looked out at the cabbage plant and it was in the dark.  If you go into my backyard at noon, you need a lousy mag lite to find your way around.  Once I heard Tarzan fly by my right ear and lost my boot to a crocodile.  The tree frogs jump around like mosquitoes in a Minnesota July.

The only way to get my daughters cabbage to grow into a few meals for us this fall is to cut a few trees down.  Maybe I'll just wait for this over-active tornado season to do the job for me.