The things I have to deal with. I mean, really. When we moved into this house, there was the standard concrete pad for the patio, as well as an extension of it, to the corner of the south side of the house, that was obviously not installed professionally. Like Graham Stuart Thomas, “I did not want to look for ever upon spread concrete”, but have been, due to the vagaries of life, forced to do just that.
Everything was more or less fine, as far as non-professionally-spread concrete was concerned, until the dreadful winter of 06-07, when six feet of snow lay on the ground pretty much for ever, until one day it all evaporated, and I noticed this.
In addition, there was a crack further south, and the whole non-professionally-installed patio had effectively become a series of concrete plates, each moving in a different direction, but most of them now slant toward the house. It makes me dizzy to stand on them. And, you know that sort of person who just can’t resist saying something like ” If you don’t do something, the whole non-professionally-installed part of the patio might just buckle into itself, and the weight of the thing drag the whole house down to the center of the earth”, well, I ignore people like that (which infuriates them) and I’m not going to do anything about it except complain.
It’s the trashy part of the patio anyway. I never could figure out why the garden didn’t get featured in glossy gardening magazines, until it dawned on me that trashiness is not currently in fashion. I’m earnestly working at trying to change that, but so far, haven’t had much luck.
The yellow-handled shovel is the one I found in the front yard, mentioned a while back. There’s an antique dishwasher next to it, which my wife bought, and shelves to hold seed trays on the left, and also on the right (below the watering cans). She built those for me. The plastic and metal trash cans hold soilless mix and bird seed. I don’t use the grill any more but it makes me look like a real American. The little juniper is waiting for me to put it somewhere; it’s been moved about six times.
The olla (rhymes with cholla and La Jolla) is older than dirt. It was in my grandparents’ garden in Los Angeles, and when it was moved here it started to flake, some, owing to the freezing and thawing that they don’t seem to have much of in Los Angeles.
And I have these jerks to contend with. Gnawing away at every single pine cone and dropping the pieces all over the patio. I swear I could sweep this every day and it would still be a mess.
This is the nice side. True, the path has a hose running down it, but the hose is always there, so I don’t see it; the way you don’t notice things if you see them constantly. It’s only when people say “You have hoses running down your paths” that I noticed them. I answer “That’s true, you’re absolutely right.” The path leads, of course, to the all-rabbitbrush border. The hose goes 150 feet down to the back garden.
I used to sit at the wrought iron table and think about things; now I just look at the table and remember those times when I used to think about things. I should take up thinking again.