When I first moved to the House of Mars, I had delusions of grandeur about the future of the threadbare rocky yard . My visions fell somewhere between a lush, eccentrically overgrown English Cottage garden and the rich manicured layout of the Bronx Botanical Gardens. Fourteen years later, my feet are firmly on the ground. I have a few faithful perennials which I feed in the spring and promise to re-feed in six weeks, but………
and I promise to prune the bushes but……………….
and weed, but……
But ……my holly bushes, that’s another story.
I faithfully feed and baby them and keep the ground around them free of weeds. And I admire their symmetrical waxy leaves all year-long.
In turn, they reward me
with more and more berries each year
And this year, they had a surprise hidden away
I never even heard of a holly flower.
Although they aren’t growing as quickly as I expected, they are expanding and filling in, becoming the living fence I wanted – although the need is no longer there. The need had a name, and it was Lucky.
The House of Mars has had one owner for the past 14 1/2 years – moi. The house next door is on its fourth set. Lucky was part and parcel of family #3 – a blond cocker spaniel. It’s not that he was bad. In fact he was amazingly obedient. All anyone in his family had to do was call “Lucky, home!” and he turned on a dime and ran home.
The problem was he never should have left home. And he definitely shouldn’t have been chasing Fremont and Niles but when he did, I behaved in an adult manner. I had a few polite words with the owner, who would apologize and for the next few days when Lucky was let out, he was tethered to his own deck. For a day or so, then he’d be back.
I didn’t always see him but I’d know he’d been visiting because I’d find his calling cards These I dealt with as maturely as I could. I got the cat pooper-scooper and tossed them over into Lucky’s yard where they’d land
(tee-hee) right in front of their shed door
In a perfect world, the neighbors would have fenced in their property but…………
So I did the next best thing. I set out to grow one. I doubt they’ll reach the six-foot height I envisioned, not in my lifetime, anyway. But it doesn’t matter….
Family #4 has been here almost eight years now and so far …….no dog.
But there soon there was a fence.
A few fences.
And a gate or two
You see, when Marcos came to live at the House of Mars, I had visions of the handsome hunk of dog romping around the back yard. What I didn’t realize was you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. He’d spent his first eight years as a New York City walk-on-a-leash, lounge-in-the -apartment-all day dog. He preferred
And now Lucky’s gone and Marcos is gone but I love my fences. They divide the property into a suite of outdoor rooms
And they give these guys somewhere to hang out.