If you’ve not heard the story of the cobbler’s kids, this week’s blog would likely make very little sense to you. But, for those of you that have, I’ll just come clean with you now… I am very much “The Cobbler.” Before becoming the “Celebrity Landscaper” I was just the Landscaper, before that I was the gardener, and let’s face it, gardening has really always been a trade that’s less than glamorous, to put it lightly.
We gardeners are people of the earth. We see beauty in nature and desire to work with nature, rather than against her. Mother Nature is an abundant creator; she bares such an abundant harvest that, for many of us gardeners, we have more work than we could ever complete. We are hoarders of all things plant related and we know that with a little love, a little water and a little compost, all will be well and look gorgeous as ever. So long as plants grow, we’ve always got plenty of work to get done.
My own yard has of course never been”crashed.” Nobody in TV land is wanting to watch the show where the guy on TV gets his own yard done for free. While I shoot plenty of web video for the Green Industry, I’ve shot no web videos at my own house showcasing any green industry tools or tips. In all honesty, my yard, as a backdrop, simply isn’t worthy, yet! I believe that one of the reasons my yard looks like a raggedy 3rd world country is because I’m really not all that bothered by it. I mean of course I’d like to have my space look better, as would my family. Unfortunately, the amount of time, energy, and conscious awareness that I choose to put into my yard and the fact that I want to do so much of the work myself means I can only do these improvements in bits and pieces when time permits. I do this in between making sure that my bills are paid and seeing that all is well with my family. There are plenty of more important priorities that I choose to allocate my precious resources on before I’m willing to splurge on our outdoor aesthetics.
Both Tiffanie and our kids have said on more than one occasion, “When are we gonna have a nice yard, like the ones you’ve done on TV?” To which I’ve answered, “As soon as you’re willing to go outside and help to start making things look better.” The last thing I wanna teach my wife or kids is that beauty in outdoor living just happens through osmosis. Yard work and gardening is a true labor of love. I spend most of this labor and my time making money and my yard doesn’t worry me because I know how to manage, maintain and change it. It’s more about finances and my time. Here’s an interesting article about the subject I found on-line.
My yard is a place for me to collect and store all kinds of goodies until I’m ready to install them as permanent structures and a part of my landscape. It’s also a place where I can work with plants; dividing, growing from seed, and incubating them in my small inexpensive greenhouses, while getting them ready for sale.
Oh that’s right! I also run a couple small retail nursery outlets. I sell plants at Under the Arbor and Churchill’s Hardware. My house is more like Club Med for plants, a place of refuge for my container plants that aren’t quite sellable, due to poor watering practices, too much sun exposure, or whatever other reason.
The north side of my house is used for rain water collection and shade for my plants. While the south side is used for rain water storage, hand tool storage, and a variety of other things like transplanting, mixing of soils, and a place where I put boulders, gravel, and other elements to use in the yards that I create. On any given day I’ve got piles of mulch, compost, soil and other landscaping supplies in my driveway. It’s my life, my passion, and my livelihood.
In closing, I must speak on behalf of us cobblers and acknowledge that we professionals do not work on making our own stuff look lovely just because we lack funds and/or time. It’s also an issue of priority. We put them off as a lesser priority, since we deal with these same things daily, for the folks we call our clients and customers. We’re a little desensitized and less bothered by what others think is critically important. When the time is right; bit by bit, and little by little, we’ll enjoy the process of creating beauty for our own families in our own homes and gardens.