I am not sure how I’ve had time, over the course of many grueling school years, to create such a
horrific unusual back yard. Once known as Snakeland, our back yard renders all visitors speechless. I am still waiting for the first verbal response from anyone who looks at it. People just stare, struck dumb at the sight. Even our socially adept daughter-in-law is at a loss for words, and that’s saying something!. I’ve stopped making excuses and simply stare along with them.
What does it look like? Hmm. It’s an overgrown, sloping “lawn” that leads to the rest of our wooded lot. There’s an elaborate bird feeder system in the center of the hill, which creates a perpetually poopy and dead zone. Not completely dead, though. The bird feeder attracts rats and mice, so the snakes created their own copperhead playground. Hence, we had Snakeland for a few years.
But what started off as grass turned to weeds. The weeds couldn’t grow in the hard, rocky clay, so I decided to grow ornamental clover. It provided a helpful ground cover for snakes but disappeared when the beautiful red blossoms were apparently a kind of aphrodisiac for deer. The primary advantage of deer is that we don’t have snakes any more. There are so many deer tramping through the yard that the snakes were either crushed or left in disgust.
Although I didn’t want the snakes to return, our wooded lot became a deer nursery. A parking place for cute fawns. Once I caught Lyme disease from deer tick bites, deer weren’t looking so cute to me. My next ill-fated attempt to grow a ground cover was a supposedly deer-resistant vine. I think it tasted like candy to the deer, so I planted an even more deer-resistant vine. That was apparently whipping cream on a sundae. Every one of these gardening ventures was not only expensive, but agonizing. My back is very susceptible to mistreatment, such as lugging 40 pounds of wet topsoil up a hill. Oh yes, I planted a bit of oxalis from a friend’s yard and occasionally a few of those survive the grazing herds.
Now our back yard is not only ugly, but stinky. People walk in our house examining the bottom of their shoes. Why? I use Liquid Fence to keep the deer from consuming every ugly shred of the yard’s past: a melange of random clover, two kinds of vines, weeds, crabgrass, and oxalis. And the deer? They laugh at me between bites.