But being agoraphobic, like I am, it's really nice to have an outdoor space - no matter how tiny - that I can go at any time and not feel anxious.
I tend to look very closely at the things
out there, and I take a lot of pictures.
And if I like them I want to share. (It's a curse, I know)
But I'm also very proud of what I've
been able to accomplish out there, so I want to show off.
With a very small budget and a small,
rather dark space dominated by a Meyer lemon tree I have managed to get a lot of different kinds of things to grow. Some are not exactly prize-winners - the roses come to mind - but they persist, and even bloom. (All but the cymbidiums, of which only one has ever "put out.")
Things are further complicated by my refusal to use any kind of pesticide.
And then there was the period when a rescue Border Collie, Maid, was living here, which resulted in all the grass being killed by her peeing on it because she was too terrified to go out to the front of the building. Sigh...
The week before she went to her new home she finally consented to
relieve herself on the gravel strip around the corner, but the ground in the back yard was so... insulted, that it took a winter of moderate rainfall to render the soil sufficiently rinsed as to permit the successful planting and healthy growth of a new crop of grass.
My roses are always deckled by bugs, and some of my cacti - given to me by a friend who has since passed - appear a bit war torn.
It appears that they were originally dug up with a backhoe, (which I can sympathize with, when I recall some of the puncture wounds that I sustained getting them into the ground here). But they are liberally dotted with new growth now, and they laugh off
the pests that trouble the roses. The lemon tree is a great producer, and keeps my building well supplied with excellent fruit for most of the year. When it is resting, I prune it.
Half of the yard is screened and roofed with chicken wire so my cat, Mugen, can go outside. It is his little domain, and he goes out nearly every morning, has a grass salad, and then regurgitates it onto one of my oriental rugs.
There are various plaster, cement, metal and ceramic creatures out there too. There's a cement Border Collie that grows a verdant coat of moss every winter.
There are a pair of doves, a dragon, a crab and a rabbit. There is also a live skunk that makes regular nocturnal appearances, but he eats the snails, so I don't mind him. (Or her, I don't want to be too inquisitive about personal matters. Skunks can be so touchy.)
The most recent addition to the garden is a sort of Chinese-looking bench with a poofy cushion figured with banana leaves. Mugen much approves this addition.
In general, the yard is a pleasant oasis, a good place to sit and read, and full of interesting critters like stick-insects, hummingbirds, newts, spiders, and of course, the skunk.
The whole family approves of the yard, and it even gives me a bit of exercise; moving things around, transplanting things, trimming and pruning, laying pavers and watering.
It's good to have a bit of earth - even a very tiny little bit.