Saturday, June 07, 2014

What Did I Do with the Money?

In case you were wondering, here are the Route 70 kittens, named for the highway where they were found. They have survived a fit of something that nearly carried them away, due to my diligence (should have said no).
But this sermon is not about kittens. It's about saving money.

Mr. J and I have always had trouble keeping up with the expenses of owning a home in Sunny Snobville. One place where we've never had money to spare is the outdoors. Around here people pay big bucks (or sweat away long hours) composing perfect front lawns and putting-green back yards.

When I was young I put a lot of hard work into making my house look like the other ones in Snobville. I bought begonias and New Guinea impatiens and marigolds and tomato plants. Nothing ever took. The only year I had a good tomato crop was the year my neighbor had a pony party, and I offered to clean up his yard. I don't like Miracle Gro, and I don't often get near enough to a pony to get good fertilizer.

By and by I got busy, had kids, had more work to do. More recently I've gotten even busier. My back yard has grown up in stuff I only half know. I've got jewel weed and milkweed, but I also have a ground cover that I call "creeping crud" that I think must be native to New Jersey. I also have wild strawberries, which I'm fairly sure are native as well.

Today I took stock of the Johnson landmass in preparation for creating a wildlife-friendly back yard full of native species. Seems like I'm already well on the way. It's not like the place is barren. It's quite brimming with the green stuff.

Tomorrow a kind lady is coming over with seedlings from a variety of native species. I have unearthed all the dirt I could get from my compost pile, and I'm really hoping I will be creating a self-sustaining environment.

The seedlings are free.

I've never spent any money on Chateau Johnson's lawn (except for mowing expenses). I've only minimally invested in annuals and tomato plants. Compared to the rest of Snobville, I've hardly cracked the safe for the green environs.

Wonder what I did with all that saved cash? Maybe I spent it on cats.


Lucretia said...

They are ADORABLE!!! Thank you so much for saving them, Anne. :-)

I've never liked "perfect front lawns" myself (think Stepford wives here). I prefer herbs, flowers and trees. I hope you will post pics when you have your REAL front yard set up, it sounds like my kind of place!

Anti Kate said...

I went to a workshop by these people, way back when. Inspiring!


oh they are so sweet...yards..pain in the ass.

greekwitch said...

They are the cutest!!! Very lucky kitties! And i can't wait to see your wild life yard. Our next door neighbor has one and it looks amazing!

Mary said...

I want a kitten. One of those. Will you raise it for me?

This picture and talk of your 'yard' and 'garden' is worthless without pics. Just sayin'. :)

illissemorsirion said...

Have you read

It's about the adventures of a full time kitten foster.

Also go wildlife gardens. After all the only thing that grass is good for is....well I can't think of anything but it must be good for something.


Anne Johnson said...

Mary, Mary, I am taking a series of "before" pictures now. In general, peoples' garden photos aggravate me, because I can't grow anything, and I'm always jealous. You watch: I'll even make a botch of growing weeds. I'll plant milkweed and wind up with orchids.

Mary said...

Anne, I too suffer from garden envy. I feel your pain--and anger. I believe there's a high level of Lazy Factor in this dilemma, at least speaking for myself. Sure, I'm gonna work on that.......