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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

It's the Blue Light Special of free stuff!

Sometimes, life is good. Sometimes, the planets align, the forces that be smile down on you, and it rains free stuff. And not crappy free stuff, but stuff you can actually use.

My previous post lauded the abundance of goods and services I have received to redo my bedroom and bathroom, so I won't go into that again. But it would appear that the Botany Gods are giving me a karmic thumbs up, because I have been blessed with greenery.

I had a girlfriend who was moving and saw this as the perfect opportunity to get rid of her boyfriends plants (and who among us hasn't wanted to do that?). So I inherited 5 HUGE hanging spiders and ivy's. Really greened up the place, made it all bright and airy. Not to mention the surplus of oxygen they are providing. She also saw the chance to upgrade her patio collection, and now I have several darling urn planters for MY back patio, which currently houses a table, tangled hoses, a collection of stuffed animals with the insides in various stages of being pulled out and a chiminea that acts as a summer home for very angry wasps. Needless to say, my patio could use a face lift.

Then my boss was, once again, kind enough to offer to let me come and take her runaway strawberries and raspberries. Now, this is akin to offering to allow little children to pick your dandelions for their mother. Solves your problem and the children do all the work. Same basic concept. I go over there and "choose" my plants from all the ones that have decided to grow where she doesn't want them. But I currently have 2 mature strawberry beds, a rhubarb bed, a chive pot, and a good sized raspberry bed that are full on producing, and all I had to do was go over and dig them up. They come back every year, they produce better every year, and they cost me NOTHING! Really, this year I'm just filling in the strawberries and maybe extending the raspberry bed. How do you refuse raspberries? And they're thornless, to boot. Maybe I should start another bed. On top of that, her patch is so big, that when they're ripe, I also get to go over and pick them! Delicious!

Finally, this is less a gift than an accomplishment, but it needed to happen. My back flower bed (read - weed patch) has been de-weeded, weed guarded, and I will be planting it for the LAST time next weekend, with a selection of perennials chosen with the intent of me never having to do anything to that bed again. It runs for 50 feet along my back fence and is filled with completely useless plants. They contribute nothing, save for being visually attractive for a couple of months, giving the bees something to do during the day, and providing cover for wasps to make their homes. But, I had a 50.00 card to Lowes, and so I chose a few remaining plants to fill in the blank spots and now the bed will be spring/summer/fall blooming with little maintenance from me. It's full of Russian Sage, Purple Salvia, burgundy wild roses, Shasta daisies, and mums. Done. I hate working in that flower bed. Love flowers, hate weeding.

I need a sign.

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