Negotiating with landscapers was so much simpler in Florida than it is in the north....
SD: So what’s all that green stuff all over the yard?
Landscaper: Um, grass....
SD: Well that’s weird. It certainly doesn’t look like the grass I’m used to in Florida. Are you allowed to walk on it?
Landscaper: Yes, that is its designed purpose.
SD: Barefoot with no threat of lacerations or tetanus?
Landscaper: I’ve never heard of anyone getting lockjaw from a shoeless stroll in Kentucky Bluegrass, so I think you’d be okay.
SD: Wow. What about this? (Pointing to dead brown things under bushes.)
Landscaper: Ma’am, those are leaves.
SD: Even I know that! But what are they doing all over the ground?
Landscaper: Um, they fell from the trees back in the fall like they tend to do every year. For another $500 we can clean them up for you.
SD: Seems a little steep for something you know is going to happen every year....
Landscaper: Where’d you say you were from again? Jupiter?
SD: No, silly, that’s on the other coast. Now, I want to ask you about these trees over here. I already know they’re Bradford Pears, but so far they haven’t produced any fruit. They may need to be replaced.
Landscaper: They are not like citrus trees, they don’t actually grow edible pears.
SD: Great. And now I suppose those Japanese Maples aren’t going to produce wasabi syrup?
Landscaper: No, and the dogwoods won’t be having puppies either.
SD: (Scowling.) Well, since you’re also an apparent expert in animal husbandry, maybe you could tell me what’s hatching over here in the flower bed?
Landscaper: (Looking closely.) Ma’am, that’s a tulip. (Shaking head.) Don’t tell me you don’t have any spring bulbs down there? Crocuses? Irises?
SD: (Thinking.) We have bullfrogs and cataract surgery. Look, this is as fruitless (and disappointing) as that mimosa tree I had back in Tampa. Can you just give me a price on yard maintenance until I can learn my way around?
Landscaper writes numbers furiously on the back of a seed packet.
SD: (Choking back a sob.) Well, at least I know why weeping willows thrive here.
©2011 Tracey Henry
Divamail me the Burpee seed catalog!