Sunday, July 17, 2011

North Philly "Paradise" Lost

Anyone who's been to my house in the spring or summer and walked down the path between mine and my neighbor's house will have noticed the flowers on her side contrasted with the vegetables on mine. I created my neighbor's flower garden by taking flowers out of my garden, since she was interested in having one but at a loss for how to get started (and perhaps needed a little boost to get going?). It actually worked out really well because in my vegetable obsession I was taking out all kind of flowers and putting them in her bed. She'd add some touches herself each year, but I'd have to do a lot of the weeding.

Anyway, my neighbor has moved out. And the house is being managed by an asset manager. And one day a week or two ago, a truck pulled up and a bunch of guys got out with their yard tools. And after picking some daisies for his wife from the garden, the project manager had the guys cut down all of the flowers (except for the daisies and a very few other clumps). I watched through the window, open-mouthed, as they razed the garden to the ground. I thought about interfering or getting hysterical as I watched beautiful sections being cut down (after thinking, "Oh, surely they'll leave those flowers"). But I was stopped in my reflections by a loud cry of distress and genuine weeping from the basement. Micah was playing down there and saw all of the flowers being cut down and wanted to know, "Mommy! Why are they cutting down all the flowers??!" So I comforted him instead of indulging in my own distress for a while. Let me tell you, it was very hard to explain to a five year-old why those flowers had to go (and I was certainly not the best one to do it, since I thought it was all ridiculous).

This is what's left of the butterfly bush that was in bloom.

There were beautiful arching white flowers under the bay window. There were also irises, but they'll come back. The arching white flowers are not all gone. I watered as an act of rebellion after they left, and at least next year they should be beautiful again. The salvia will recover also. And they did leave the small crepe myrtle. I'm not sure how a bare dirt patch is more of a selling point. In fairness, there were weeds mixed in with the flowers. But now there are no flowers to compete with the weeds. And weeds recover from a "mowing" much quicker than flowers do.

I wish I would have taken a picture of the view of our gardens filling that passageway before--I didn't know the destroyers were coming or I would have.

I had just picked flowers from the garden the day before they cut them down. After my neighbor moved out, I decided I should start doing that regularly. The roses and arching white flowers were my favorites to pick. I actually cut the big butterfly bush bloom off the top of their "scrap pile" before they threw all of the flowers out.

1 comment:

  1. oh, Val! That's terrible! I was just over there enjoying them too. well... here's hoping you get green-loving neighbors to move in.