5 of 365: Gardening Woes

We live in a rental property and the garden is ridiculously high maintenance. The landlady is never likely to live in this property again – she did when she originally bought the place – so she obviously did the garden to suit her taste and her love of gardening. In the front, there’s half a dozen rose bushes, several agapanthus and, now, random plants and trees that have grown from seeds birds have pooped out. Plus a crap-load of weeds!

The back area consists of a patch of lawn (mercifully easy to take care of),  a separate strip all the way along the back fence that has a bark-chip layer which houses more rose bushes and random trees courtesy of the birds, and, of course, loads more weeds. Separate to that, under the pergola, there’s a bricked-off area dedicated to plants that need to be in a rainforest, not in a suburban back garden. The lush rainforest-y plants are growing so tall and prolifically that we need to hack the poor things to keep them within the confines of the tiny area that is their home. It’s not fair to the plants or the creatures that have made their homes amongst them. There’s also a grape vine and an assortment of other green stuff, none of which I know the names.

Along the opposite side fence, there’s a weird random plant that grows outwards so it just takes up any walking space. It’s hard to cut down and the roots go all the way to China. It grows faster than you can cut it. It’s not especially attractive either.

All other areas are paved (front and back), so we have got a never-ending battle with plants and weeds that grow in the cracks. Aaaaargh! It’s too much all the time!

For a rental property, the garden is just too hard to maintain. My partner and I are not natural-born gardeners. It’s not something we love to do. And gardening is time-consuming. We don’t want to spend all our free time keeping our landlady’s vision and preferences beautifully manicured. Yet there is an expectation that we will. I don’t think that’s fair. If the landlady wants her garden to be awesome, then she needs to hire someone to keep it that way at her own cost. It’s her property. She shouldn’t expect that we will spend every spare moment we have working our butts off for her.

Our landlady is quite lovely and we have been here for 6 years. We pay our rent on time. We keep the house in excellent condition. We like living here because it’s a really nice place and it suits our needs. But we despair about the garden and get annoyed with her when she looks down her nose at us about it.

We’re sorry landlady – but we can’t keep your garden to a botanical park standard. We are not your free labour. Either pare it back so it’s extremely low-maintenance, or organise someone else to keep it how you like it.

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