Reviving the Garden of the Dead

"The Garden of the Dead" is how I refer to the scorched, lifeless plots of dirt in front of our home. I can't grow anything without killing it (which partly explains why we chose not to have children) and gave up on trying to have a flower-filled garden years ago. I'd be okay with the decision except for the fact that I feel bad for our neighbors. The neighbors on one side run a B&B and their yard is immaculate with bright, blooming plants and flowers. The neighbors on our other side grow beautiful roses, sunflowers, and butterfly bushes.

We, of course, are the beneficiaries of their efforts. We can look out windows on either side of our home and revel in a wealth of blooms and beauty. Our neighbors, by contrast, look out their windows and see dying baby hostas gasping their last breath and the charred remains of our grass. 

My mom has decided she can't stand the ugliness one minute more and is going to help us transform the front of our house. She--and I want this noted for the record--has sworn that she will be the one to water and care for any plants we put in. 

She kept bothering me with questions like, "Do you like tall plants? How do you feel about pea-sized gravel? What are your favorite flowers?" until finally I just handed her a check and said, "Go buy stuff." That's how I operate. I would LOVE a front yard filled with beautiful flowers. I just don't want to have to think about it, plan it, or be involved in any way. 

I'm actually quite excited to see what she does. It's like going on one of those HGTV shows where you turn the keys over to your house in the hopes that you'll come back to a transformed space. Mom is concerned about doing something we don't like but I encourage her by pointing out that anything is better than what's there now. It's a no-lose situation. 

I'll try to get some before and after pics. And again, just to be clear--Mom: You swore you'd be the one to water them.