As a happy suburbanite, I like having an attractive yard. As a mostly-nocturnal, white-collar kind of guy, though, I don’t like actually going out there and doing the work myself.

I just met with my favorite landscaping contractor (Richard’s and Adan’s Landscape - Maintenance, serving Monterey County, CA) yesterday to have him trim, weed, and replant my front and back yards. Fairly basic stuff, but the jasmine is taking over the sidewalk, one of the trees is growing so well that it’s tearing itself apart in the wind, the weeds grew four feet high while my back was turned, and about a third of the plants front and back have died from my benign neglect.

It wasn’t bad enough yet to affect the resale value of nearby homes, but it’s likely my sister will be coming down soon, and I’d like the place to look decent. That also means having a maid service come over and scrub out the interior, but that’s another story.

I’ve never liked lawns, so the tiny little strip out front that was put in by the builder is all there is. Just large enough to not look completely dwarfed by the tree I put in the middle of it.

The back yard was bare dirt, packed down hard by assorted heavy construction equipment. About two months after I moved in, it was a sea of waist-high weeds. I had another landscaper put in a bunch of bark, some ground cover, a gravel path, and a large square gravel area for the grill and smoker. Since the grill and smoker were the only things I used the yard for anyway, that was sufficient.

Richard and his crew aren’t changing it much. More and better plants, improvements to the drip system, fresh bark/chips, and some good strong poison for the weeds. I’m also going to have him take over the regular maintenance, currently performed by a company that does nothing except trim the tiny patch of grass once a week.

He’s a great guy, and when he gave me his estimate for the work, I didn’t hesitate to pay the whole thing up front. Sure enough, they showed up first thing this morning, and they’re doing their usual professional job.

Now to clean up the interior enough for the maid service to come over…