This week is all about disruption. Monday morning at 7 AM the long anticipated landscaping crew arrived. Their mission that day was a tough one: weed the graveled strip alongside the driveway, remove a volunteer tree against the chain link fence,  remove the gravel and lay down weed mat.


That was one phase of one part of the project. Next, the long rectangular bed in front of the house was expanded and rounded to a curve. It wasn’t too warm by Walla Walla standards that day, the high a mere 92 beating down from a late summer white-hot sun. Alongside the driveway, what started out looking like this:



Landscaping-along the driveway “before”. . .


looked like this at the end of the work day:


Landscaping-along the driveway a few hours later. . .



That looks more like demolition than landscaping.


And it still looks like that this morning, Lily, because we’ve paused the schedule until the current heat wave clears. Tuesday through Thursday the highs reached 99 and 100. Today, the forecast is for 106.


It makes me sweat just thinking about it!


Me too, 9. Right now it’s in the 60s, but by 5 PM, look out! No way would new plants, especially the hibiscus, enjoy sitting around in full sun coupled with that kind of heat. Today, our job is picking up the plants at the nursery so they’ll be available when the landscaping crew returns at 7 AM tomorrow. If necessary, I’ll store the plants inside until the temperatures start to fall in the early evening and shade becomes available. Fingers crossed that Saturday’s high will be at or below the 89 F forecast.


The remains of the brick planter and the light post will be removed and five holes will be dug- -a back row of three spirea, with two hibiscus in front. It will look much simpler and more unified than the mess we had before, plus, when the spirea grow to their full height, the driveway and front lawn will have some shade. Once the plants are in, the remaining gravel will be replaced.


Out front, we started with this:


Landscaping-front bed “before”. . .



Where a half-dozen ferns once languished (they’ve been transplanted to the back yard) four white hydrangeas will be placed. I’m okay with blue and pink hydrangeas, but wasn’t sure how the blue-gray house color would look with that.


Kind of like barf?


Well, it would clash, anyway.


The landscaping crew did a really nice job widening and rounding the front bed. Note for me: pick up another length or two of drain pipe!


Landscaping-front bed widened and curved.


It’s a labor-intensive project that would have taken me weeks to do on my own, yet I’ve been freaking out ever since I made the appointment with the landscaping consultant from the nursery. At night I fall fitfully asleep, jaws tense and stomach tight. What is the big deal? All I can come up with is I am way too ingrained in my regular schedule. Who in their right mind thinks at the beginning of a landscaping project “Oh my god, if they’re putting the plants in on Saturday morning and I want to be there to make sure it goes the way I’ve planned, I’ll probably miss lap swim at the Y!”


A normal person would feel relieved.


Thank you, 9. The more I think about it, the more I realize I’m living life like I’m on a gigantic hamster wheel, going and going and going without stopping to examine why I do the things I do, much less to enjoy the results of my efforts.


That’s pathetic. What are you going to do about it?


Box Breathing is probably a good place to start, Lily! Breath in, hold for a count of four, breathe out. About a million times. By the time I’ve finished, it should be Saturday afternoon. I am visualizing the completed landscaping project, the driveway cleared of gravel, the Subaru back in its usual spot. Order restored. I’ll stand out front and admire it all, sipping a glass of fine Walla Walla wine as the temperature slips below 80.


Because why on earth should we do these projects unless they bring us joy?

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