I have lived in this home for almost 18 years...and I have spent 17 years and thousands of dollars landscaping my is, after all, an extension of my home!

One of the areas I first landscaped was behind a massive row of pine trees in my side yard (I live at the end of a cul-de-sac so my side yard is adjacent to my neighbors back yard)....

This area got zero sun and the soil was really too acidic due to the pines to grow much. The trees on the left were large oak and wild cherries in my neighbors yard...the pines and Bradfords on the right are mine. The two lines of trees provided ample shade from noon on. I built my first swing pergola for shady afternoon lounging, laid Lord knows how many tons of flagstone and filled the beds with shade loving ground cover.

Another area I have carefully cultivated because of all the shade....

Because of the pines, the pin oak and the smaller Purple Plums in my yard and the row of mature tree in the neighbors yard, the little bed got very little sun. Perfect for tender hostas.... and they have thrived!

Several weeks ago, I spend a fortune and a few hard days of labor laying new Fescue sod. Between years of erosion and the new fence, it was time! Fescue is perfect for shady areas and like hostas it can not tolerate too much sun. 

Which brings me to "life." 

The neighbors cut down ALL their trees...ALL of them! The entire row of mature oak and wild cherry trees that ran along their fence, that shaded my yard and flower beds...gone! 

In one fell swoop, my hostas, ground cover, new fescue lawn and even my pergola is now exposed to full blown sun from late morning on.

I am devastated...WHY would you do that? Why would you cut down an entire row of beautiful, mature trees.

I know....they aren't my trees and they can do as they please....and just because it destroys 17 years of careful landscaping is not their problem!

This is life....when you depend on others to "cultivate your garden" you take a big risk...because in one fell swoop they can alter their life so drastically, it can have a devastating affect on your life.

IF you choose to see it that way. Truth is, the only thing we control in our lives is how we CHOOSE to react to what happens around us...and our attitude. Period. End of story.

I want to pout, and scream, and go beat up my neighbor. But the truth is, it won't bring back the trees they cut down. It won't save my hostas or keep my grass and ground cover from burning up this summer. 

So what choice do I have? That's what I am working on this week...planting new trees, moving my hostas, watering the heck out of my tender new grass. 

I cut a poem out of a newspaper 30+ years ago...I probably didn't even realize at the time what it REALLY meant...but I do now and it hangs on my office wall....

After a while you learn the subtle difference

Between holding a hand and chaining a soul

And you learn that love doesn't mean leaning

And company doesn't mean security

And you begin to learn that kisses aren't contracts

And presents aren't promises

And you begin to accept your defeats

With your head up and your eyes open

With the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child,

And you learn to build all your roads on today

Because tomorrow's ground is too uncertain for plans

And futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight

After a while you learn

That even sunshine burns if you get too much.

So you plant your own garden and decorate your own soul

Instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers

And you learn that you really can endure....

That you really are strong

And you really do have worth

And you learn and learn

With every goodby you learn.

Life and landscaping...learn from your mistakes, don't depend on other's to cultivate your happiness, when others actions affect your life put on your big girl panties and get to work doing what you need to do, and as frustrating as it can all be, keep a good attitude! Because shit happens and you can't let your bad attitude kill your happiness.

That's isn't the actions of others that will kill your spirit or make you is the choice YOU is YOUR attitude...