Gardening 101

We are in the process of putting our house on the market.

It’s been awesome.

Wait, is awesome the right word?

No…I was thinking of something else, like arrggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!?!

Yes that sums it up nicely.

So apparently when you want to sell your house, you have to really get it in good shape. You have to return to those home projects you long abandoned in favor of watching Bachelor Pad: The Night of the Living Herpes. For instance, you have to finish building the stairs so they connect directly to the second floor. You can no longer use your couch as a napkin. And you should dismantle the 50 Shades of Grey torture shack in the living room.

We have lived in our house for eight years. We began our home ownership with gusto. We painted the exterior ourselves and made a solemn blood vow to never do that again. We painted most of the interior, leaving the hallway and ceiling above the stairs unfinished because of the whole not-being-14-feet tall and the not-wanting-to-use-a-ladder-on-the-stairs-are-you-out-of-your-mind thought pattern.

Then our cable got connected and I tuned out the house projects and tuned into reality television. And the hallway remained beautifully unpainted. The landscape left to fester. And the dust bunnies met more dust bunnies, and you know how bunnies are.

But now we’re back in gusto mode.

Our realtor tells us we need to view our house through the eyes of the perspective buyer.

This is what worries me. Especially when I look at our non landscaping.

I don’t know how to garden. I have never had a green thumb, which I’m thankful for because that would likely be a sign of gangrene.

I don’t know. Be honest, does this scream “Buy me!”

See we have a carport, and a part or a port of the carport blew off, and we kind of threw that port or part right behind the house and piled some lawn chairs we never use on top of it. That’s a design of sorts, right? I believe it’s known as “clusterfuck”.

On the side of the house, we have trees that have commingled with our house à la Swiss Family Robinson style. But back-to-nature, no-birth-control-for-anyone-but-viagra-for-everyone, the Poltergeist-tree-is-real is all the rage now, yes?

Let’s hope so because this is my home:

It’s pretty in a my-house-is-being-made-love-to-by-trees kind of way. If I were the realtor, I would advertise it as a house with lots of oxygen potential. And most people are in favor of oxygen.

We also have a giant pile of leaves our neighbor lovingly raked into our shared bushes that is now home to a stray cat that enjoys spaying and mewing loudly. I would have taken a picture, but I was afraid my neighbor would see me. That should not deter you from buying the house. It’s not my neighbor, it’s me. I have gelotophobia, the fear of being laughed at.

There is much to do. And here I sit writing this blog.

But I’m hopeful it will get done because I learned today that this is not a flower so I can get to pulling.


  1. I wouldn’t want to buy a house that’s all landscaped. Too much pressure to keep it up. So you could think of it as promoting realistic expectations.

      1. If I ever become a realtor, I will make a point of only selling houses with crappy lawns and dirty baseboards, so that my clients will not be intimidated.

  2. painting above – say 8 feet – is really over rated. who looks up there anyway? really tall people? so, don’t show the house to tall people. or people who want stairs that lead “directly to the second floor”? that sounds kind of particular to me. maybe they should keep their own damn house. and tell your realtor to use “clusterfuck” in your home description – like some people use “fixer upper” to mean piece of shit. and after this post my comment, i think maybe i will live in this house forever.

    1. That should not be a problem. It’s going to rain today so that means I have to wait 2 to 3 months for the yard to dry out and then it’s winter so what’s the point, am i right?

  3. Moving and having family stay for several days. Or having all the ladies over for BUNCO. Those are the times that call for the crash-cleaning method. Moving is the best of them because lots of completely useless stuff goes bye-bye in the process.

    I always hire painting. And building cabinets. And repairing a roof or holes in the wall. Not because I can’t do it myself, but because I can’t do it not-shitty. However, plugging a plant in the ground? That is totally up my alley. You should hire my services.

    PS — No weed-pulling necessary. Weed-whip them (leave the green where it lays), lay a bunch of cardboard or newsprint on top of that, pile 3″ of cheap, beautiful mulch on top, and voila. No more weeds. Oh…no charge. That one’s a free-bee.

    1. Thanks for the weed-avoiding tip.

      We rented a storage space to store all the crap that cluttered our house, and I’m at the point where I wouldn’t mind handing over the space to Storage Wars.

  4. I see nothing wrong with the pictures you posted. Clearly, you are one with nature, and I think that is a good thing. Being “green” is in. Look at you being all hip, Speaker7.

  5. Very funny post. Your posts are always very relateable.We have considered terms such as “rustic”, and “quaint|” to describe our home. We went without flooring for ten years, so it was just plywood. This year we finally laid down real honest to goodness flooring, and Avery (dog/baby daughter in pic with me)damaged her self sliding into kingdom come re-learning how to play fetch on an ice patch. Who knew the dangers?

    1. I will look into the use of rustic and quaint in our advertising pitch. I might add “Great for the truck enthusiast!” since we have tractor trailers barreling down our street daily.

  6. My husband is a pro landscaper and if he wasn’t I can say with all certainty that we’d be living on a giant dirt pile with dandelions growing from the cracks in our driveway. I can’t even keep a house plant alive.

    All those problems sound so cosmetic, not like your foundation is sinking. And I don’t think anyone with young kids needs to be doing house upkeep. You have a whole person to keep alive.

    1. I think my husband would be great at landscaping, the only issue is his total refusal to do any.

      You are so right on about house upkeep when a young human is in the picture. We should get a pass or something.

  7. I hate gardening. Anything that is so much work, only to have to be done again in a couple of weeks is just wrong. If I spend hours weeding, I want to cross weeding off my list. But the weeds grow back almost immediately. Intelligent design, my ass.

    I’ve never been so annoyed as when we got our townhouse ready to sell. I resented having to make it nicer for the next owner than it ever was for me. Selfish bastards.

    1. I am with you on weeding. I feel I do it once then it should be done forever. I feel like Sisyphus rolling a giant weed up a hill to only have it chase me down it.

  8. If I didn’t live in a community that did the lawn for us then my yard would look just a smidge worse than yours. Also, we painted when we bought, but got tired of it and just left one wall half done. It’s been that way for 3 years now. Luckily we’re so underwater in our mortgage we could never sell this shack anyway. See, there is an upside to a bad housing market.

  9. If I take pictures of my house it will make your house immaculate. It is all perspective!

    1. Ah, good idea. I’ll send perspective buyers to a local hoarder’s house and then say “Whoops! Wrong address” so when they get to this house they’ll say “well at least there’s less rats.”

  10. That’s the trouble with buying a house. You fall in love with it but there are at least 734 things that make you say with derision, “Of course we’d have to fix THAT,” which you use to negotiate the price of the house down. Then you never fix any of them until you’re trying to sell the house to somebody else, and the first spouse to say, “If we’d fixed all these things when we moved in we could’ve enjoyed the results the whole time we lived here” gets shot.

  11. I’m not going to clean, repaint, organize, etc. when we are ready to leave this house. I am pretty sure Zeus will strike it with lightening bolts. I’m hoping, anyway.

  12. “Tree with lots of oxygen potential”…if your realtor knows how to sell, they’ll use that. It’s all about the crafty wording. Good luck getting everything together.

  13. I’ll be right over with a ladder. I’m kind of like Tom Cruise in MI when I paint . I can scale buildings. I hope there’s free WIFI in the U-Haul so you can keep posting.

  14. I find that ripping up the area where the landscaping would be, and just laying there naked really helps improve the amount of people interested in looking at your home.

  15. May the force be with you. We sold a house a couple of years ago. Nightmare. Days (weeks) of painting, we improved part of the privacy fence only to have a tree fall on it the next day. Hope it goes quick for you!

  16. If anything, your post convinced me to buy your house and I’m not even house shopping. I love the artisy design of the clusterfuck decor! The carefully placed lawn chairs on the rusting carport with a peek of concrete . . .genius! I saw a mimic of that in an art museum once. And is that a broom head I see? Perfection!

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