As I’ve mentioned, my next-door neighbor mows my lawn. “It only takes me three extra minutes,” he says. I feel simultaneously grateful and guilty, which is sort of my default state on most things anyway, so I’m getting used to it.
I was talking to him the other day and discovered that he also has been tending to some of the landscaping in my front lawn. Aside from the corn stalk, there are all kinds of bushes and flowers and things in front of my house, and I have no knowledge of how to take care of them or, frankly, to even figure out what they are. His wife has planted hostas on my side of the stairs going to the back “yard,” in an effort to make that path look more even, and I was more than happy for her to do it. I might as well put a “Lawn available for horticultural experimentation” sign out front, as other people might as well have fun with it. I’m just happy to not have a large gaping hole out there – having a Sarlacc Pit as your front lawn is a sure way to invite lawsuits.
While I was talking to him, he revealed his method of taking care of my landscaping: “We’ve got similar stuff, so when I cut mine back, I cut yours back, too.” Makes perfect sense to me. Ah, but there’s more. How, you may ask, does he know when to cut his back?
“I walk the dog at the park over here and they’ve got some of the same things we do. I know that [local plant nursery] takes care of that park, so when they do it there, I do it here.”
And that, my friends, is the secret to great landscaping. It’s not what you know, it’s who you know that knows what.