Our rented house is squeezed between two large apartment complexes with a hundred windows staring down at our little patch of yard. Despite our best efforts to ignore the voyeuristic circumstances, we quickly came to terms with the fact that we had become entertainment.
Yesterday my suspicions were confirmed in the most awesome way possible.
We received a letter in the post from an anonymous poetic neighbor thanking us for our garden.
When we moved in earlier this year, the "yard" was a dump. And I don't mean unkempt I mean a dump: bags of ancient garbage, skeletons of broken windows, piles of shattered glass, rotting lumber, balls of rusted barbed wire.
Barren save for a gigantic rogue dildo.
A gift from a neighbor, no doubt. Naturally, we were compelled to documented it.
The "yard" was such a sty that the neighbors on either side felt generous enough to contribute their own garbage-- flinging beer cans, fast food wrappers and cigarette butts from their balconies.
I'd never had a garden. I had attempted garden-like efforts on previous rented properties but they were often short lived as the containers were quickly stolen or turned into ashtrays.
We were smitten with our bit of grass. It could have been full of medical waste or beached whales.
We didn't care. The dream of our own little patch of herbs and flowers was so tantalizing that we set out with makeshift haz-mat suits and slowly defunked the yard weekend by weekend.
My seedlings are Little Shop of Horrors ready now. So proud.
With the help of patient and crafty friends, we planted seeds and collected rocks from the lake to build beds, raked out the refuse and mowed. All the while, I felt like we were a cable access program for the neighbors as they pretended not to watch us, slinking behind vertical blinds.
What? You've never seen a blue haired lady in leopard print scream at to-go cup lid lodged in her weed-whacker?
Several months and many splinters later our little garden is alive: a plump row Fuscia zinnias bobbing. Stalks of sunflowers towering and ready to bloom. Moon flower tendrils creeping while we weren't watching. Birds and butterflies are regular guests.
Receiving a love letter from next door was an unexpected and much needed reminder that the things you do Do Matter. The stuff you pour your love into does not go unnoticed.
Well, Next Door.
You are welcome to share it with us. It's not just our garden anymore and we couldn't be happier.
With Much Love,
Your Not-So-Secret Gardener