This year, I've spruced up one of the formerly unused side yards into a favorite retreat; interspersed heirloom tomato plants among the inedibles in the back yard; added two raised beds and created some showy arrangements in urns and pots. Things are shaping up nicely.
But, among the beauty, it's equally easy to find the blight. One of the chief offenders is tucked into a corner, right next to the grape arbor, the pea tee-pee and the raised beds. That's where our neighbor, whose art studio is right on our property line, decided to install an A/C unit.
I was furious when this unit suddenly encroached into our yard a couple years ago, but I didn't say a word. When it comes to complaining, I have two die-hard rules: Don't do it when you're angry, and always offer a solution or a resolution. I couldn't get over my anger and I didn't have a solution, short of demanding that the neighbor yank the A/C unit and install it on a wall that juts into her own yard. And, since she lives on a different street, I haven't seen her for more than three years.
But lately that infringing A/C has been getting my goat - partly because I'm spending more time in that neck of the garden and partly because I'm hosting a garden wedding reception for a friend in June.
I considered a trellis, but it will take a full year to be lush enough to disguise the offending unit, which is, ironically, a Carrier. I thought about surrounding the unit with reed fencing, but that just seemed tacky.
I've come up with an idea for a decorative and functional garden element that conceals the eyesore.
I'm going to mount a strategically placed door and spray coat the inner panels in chalkboard paint. I can leave messages for the gardener or corny, inspirational thoughts. ("Friends are the flowers in the garden of life." "Thoughtless neighbors are the thorns in life's garden.") I'll hang a succulent wreath and seek out a rustic mailbox for storing my gardening gloves, clippers and chalk. A couple of hooks may come in handy too.
I've also written a note to my back-door neighbor asking her to share part of the modest project cost. (Wish me luck.)
How's that for turning blight into beauty? (I'll post pictures when the project is done in a couple of weeks.)