I love words, word graphics, Scrabble tiles, etc. so when I found the "Enjoy" sign in a specialty garden store years ago, I was thrilled. I have another one that says "Simplify." I thought the notion of "Enjoy Flowers" was kind of fun!
This vignette is on the corner of Booker and Constitution, where quite a few people drive past. In all these years, I've never had anyone take anything from my displays. Just last night, a sort of rough looking woman with tattoos and a cigarette in her mouth stopped as she drove past and hollered out, "I can't wait to see what you''ll do next. I love your yard, is just blesses me so much." Jeepers, I wasn't sure what she was going to say, so I was very appreciative.
This area has a gas line running underneath that was leaking slightly for some time. I kept smelling gas there and Portsmouth's Bravest came by twice with a little device to test the concentration of gas in the air. I have a really good sniffer, which, in the work I do with folks coming out of jail and those who are homeless, isn't always a blessing. The firefighters said that the gas level was very low and safe. They were surprised that I could smell it. Eventually Columbia Gas came on a routine inspection and fixed it.
Nothing grows in the ground there. There's no sidewalk on that side of Booker Street and people were constantly cutting across my yard and letting their dogs poop on my flowers without cleaning it up. We always clean up after Lulu and it bothered me.
Technically, most of the area is not on my property but belongs to the City of Portsmouth. However, I am responsible for maintaining it, such as cutting the grass and weed whacking around the curb. Well, I just figured that I would be a little more creative than just mowing.
Trying to take the high road, I created beauty there. You know, I was thinking about "pure,and lovely" solutions to the cutting across the yard situation, you know, a "fruit of the spirit" solution. What is more pure and lovely than flowers?
I kept this flea market gardening area in containers so that I can move the display when the city needs to address the utility lines underneath. We also built a little brick walkway on our own property to add a some interest.
Wouldn't you know it! Our city Housing Inspector advised me that someone had made a complaint about the little area to him. I couldn't believe it. I love Richard, he does such a great job. He said, "Leave her alone. It looks wonderful and she's (meaning me) just trying to make things look nice." Apparently the complainer was peeved that he couldn't cut across my property. I bet his dog is the phantom pooper! Or maybe it was him!
I could dwell on this man (name unknown to me), but I am instead dwelling on the lady in the truck and the bikers who pass by and smile and wave saying, "I love your yard."
Years ago, Mr. Crabby Man would have bummed me out. At least we know which one of the Seven Dwarfs HE'D be and I don't mean Happy. Not today, I've just been thinking: