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13th Tribulations: Looking Out My Back Door

This is my first time posting a Tribulation, and I think I'll start out with my biggest—both literally and figuratively. It is, plain and simple, our back yard.

About a month ago "Professor Roush," author of the blog Garden Musings, started a recurring post called "13th Tribulations." His idea was that on the 13th of each month, bloggers could write about something going wrong in their gardens. We all have failures and disappointments and challenges, and I think this is a great way to remember we're not alone in our gardening imperfections. You can check out other linked posts at his site—and if you have a blog, join in!

This is my first time posting a Tribulation, and I think I'll start out with my biggest—both literally and figuratively.

It is, plain and simple, our back yard.

"Bother me tomorrow, today I'll 'bide no sorrows—

Doo, doo, doo, lookin' out my back door."

Creedance Clearwater Revival

This is the actual view out our back door and it bothers me big-time.


Well, the toys don't, nor the wonderful shed. But the lack of plants bugs me. I've put all my time, loose change and energy into the front yard, so the back looks just the same as it did when we moved in two years ago.

Now you may say, why wallow in self-pity? Get off your boom-boom and plant something, Meg!

I say that to myself whenever I wash dishes. See, the view from the kitchen sink is the same.


Here's how my conversation with myself usually goes:

I should really do something about the back yard. Just plant some shrubs, nothing fancy.

Yeah but shrubs are kind of expensive.

But right now, early fall, I could find some great deals.

On sale isn't the same as free. Plus the sales never seem to apply to the varieties I really want.

Well I wouldn't need to get anything really special. Just something common, usual, expected. Just some stuff that will grow and soften up the view and make Juliet's play area nicer.

I don't think she really cares. She's not even two.

Still, I care. I would like it to look nice. I could buy small, young shrubs to save money.

Yeah, then it will look good maybe four or five years from now. Will we even still be in this house?

Maybe not, but what about planting for the greater good? The next people could enjoy it.

The next people? They can buy their own shrubs! They're probably going to give us a low-ball offer and have a million contingencies on the P&S.


Generally by this point I have distanced myself far enough from reality to be completely unable to continue the discussion—particularly since we are nowhere close to even talking about moving and here I am griping about buyers from Hell. To myself, no less.

Right now it looks like I'm not going to plant the back yard in the near future (e.g., this fall). I try to congratulate myself on not spending the money, but it's kind of hard with this view taunting me several times a day. Here's how it looks from our dinner table:


Appetizing, huh?

So that is my Tribulation for this month. I'm glad I finished it because I really prefer to keep my little problems bottled up inside! Overall I'm happy with my front-yard garden and more than thankful for the time we spend playing in the back yard, even if it is a barren wasteland.

Thanks for reading my vent!

Find links to other September 13 Tribulations at the Garden Musings blog.

Garden bloggers, make a note to participate next month!