July 21, 2010

Hoping for Troy

My neighbor has moved, and the house next to me is up for sale.

No, not the neighbor whose garden I envy.  The other one, on the other side --- a single man who bought the house and was astonished to find it included a yard, foundation plantings and two newly planted trees in the front yard.

He was transferred to the midwest, and moved out last week, so the house is now empty.  I no longer see lights on at night over there or hear his music when the windows are open, but honestly, looking at his yard, nothing has changed since he moved out.  It looked abandoned when he lived here.  This is the view from my front door. 

His girlfriend made him weed the foundation bed, and he hired a lawn guy who always came with his big machines at 7 o'clock on nice summer evenings.  But the outside appearance of the house was bleak.  There was absolutely no landscaping beyond dwarf Alberta spruces and azaleas that had been installed by the builder under the front windows, and two Norway maple saplings in the small front yard.

That's okay, not everybody is a gardener.  But I despaired .... he had his lawn guy mow around a couple large multiflora roses in the field to isolate them as specimens. 

One of the little Norway maples in his front yard died and he left the dead stick standing, slanted askew in its mulch anchor, for two full years.  I could continue with more landscaping transgressions, but really, he's moved on now and I need to too.

So let me focus on the future: we'll be getting new neighbors!

Remember when you were in seventh grade and that house in your neighborhood went up for sale, and you just prayed a cute boy would move in, maybe a ninth grader, maybe even named Brett or Troy?  How that anticipation occupied your waking moments and your dreams too?

Extra points if you recognize who this is
Well, here I am at midlife, in the same hopeful state.

Only instead of a ninth grader with brooding eyes, I want a nice gardener to move in.  Maybe someone who will put shrub and perennial borders in on the side of the house I see, and get rid of that stand of multiflora rose.  Someone who will plant a shade tree and paint the peeling bulkhead door and wash the side of the house.

And if he's named Troy ..... well.

Oh my.


  1. Eeeuuuwwww, what a sight. I am sure my neighbor thinks much the same thing about the side of my house that faces her house. She is the type of person that has some flowerbeds and shrubs. No weeds and every shrub is a ball and when she mows, which is often, she mows the lawn down to 1/2". Now I know my lot isn't perfect but you can imagine her angst when I let things get a little blouwsy when it is so darned hot. I hope your new neighbor is a gardener. Someone that you can share ideas with and enjoy their garden.

  2. P.S. It looks like there is a face on the side of that house. Two squinty eyes, nose and the mildew looks like a scraggly beard covering the mouth. ;) Hopefully someone will put a smile on that face, yours too.

  3. I hope your view improves. That wide expanse of lawn is pretty depressing. And the wall of the house is so huge and monotonous, it definitely needs trees to break up the swath of siding.

    Can I admit I'm terribly jealous of whoever will get this blank slate to play with? I'd take it in a minute. And it doesn't look small to me -- but huge! So much potential. All in the perspective. ;)

  4. I have got my fingers crossed for you Laurrie, hoping you get a great gardening neighbour. None of mine are into it, I am sure that they think that I am crazy. I do know that they feel sorry for me, working so hard, lol. They do not understand that it is a joy. I hope your new neighbout "gets it".

  5. Hilarious! I hope you get a "hunky" gardening neighbour - one who wants to come over and give a hand with the heavy lifting some days, and gives you seedlings of gorgeous plants on others. A "Brett" would be nice! ;-)

  6. Lisa, I thought the same thing about the eyebrow windows on the flat side of the house... it does look like a creepy face! Thanks for your good wishes for a nice neighbor for me.

    Meredith, I too would love to go over and do something with that blank lot. I even thought of contacting the realtor to offer my free "staging" services... I'd plant some things just to improve the looks for a sale (but I'm too chicken, and just thought it, didn't do it)

    Deborah, thanks for your wishes. Maybe if enough people wish for a nice gardener next door it will really happen!

    Garden Ms. S, whoa... I didn't even think of a neighbor who might come help me! I just wanted one who would keep his own property up. Now I have new desires.....

  7. I hope your luck isn't like mine. Usually the people that move into my neighbourhood have 5 billion kids and 5 billion barking dogs. We have a cute couple living next door, so my husband and I both have some eye candy to look at. Except I got luckier, the dude's wife is pregnant and I'd definitely bet Chuck's not into that lol. I think. O_O

    Good luck on getting your Troy!

  8. Thanks, Kyna. I read about Chuck's good news and I am so pleased for him and for you.

  9. Oh Laurrie ... I had to chuckle. Your story is SO familiar to me ... but, I have to say, your neighbour's place has nothing on my neighbour's place!!! I have to drive past it every week day ... twice a day ... and I try so hard not to look that way!

    It's overgrown with horrible grasses classed as weeds ... there are car bodies strewn down the side of the yard ... there are a couple of large Eucalyptus trees ... and all the branches that have fallen off over the years are lying there still!

    I won't even start with the neighbour on the other side!!! I live in an outlying rural suburb that was established by creatures from the Planet Sloth!! Nice people ... but not at all interested in gardens!

    Anyway ... I know how you feel ... and I've got fingers crossed for you! No extra points for me ... no idea who the hunk is!!!

  10. Bernie, your neighbors sound dreadful... well, nice enough people, but how awful to live next to such sights!

  11. Troy Donahue possibly.

  12. Anonymous, you are awesome. Troy Donahue it is. A Summer Place, Parrish --- those were the movies of my youth and I had such a crush on him.


Sorry about requiring code verification -- I experimented with turning it off to make commenting easier, and I got too much spam. Thanks for taking the time to comment, and to type in silly codes. I appreciate hearing from you.