Yesterday, June 7, my husband and I had two people, a man and a woman, do several hours of garden clean-up for us, mainly dealing with the big, longstanding mess behind the two giant evergreens that are at the far end of our back yard. They raked up two truckloads of pine needles and pine cones and carried away lots of junk: old boards, an old hose, some broken concrete, scrap metal, and more. The man got only $9 for the scrap metal, but at least it will be recycled, not junked.
This is a mess that has plagued us for years, and it's stuff that we really can't deal with, meaning that the work would be too much for us physically. So we are thrilled to have the help. They each charge $25 per hour -- not bad at all for such hard work. And we would have had no idea how to get rid of the pine needles. I don’t know what the man did with them, but they are gone, as is the other stuff.
There are still three piles of pine needles and branches to be carted off, as well as the broken-up concrete. Once that job is totally done, plus some major bush-trimming elsewhere in the yard, the woman of the pair will also do some weeding and flower-planting for us. So we expect our whole yard to look way, way better in another week or two. Looking at the impressive results so far and pondering what is to come, I feel a wonderful combination of relief and joy.
Last night, I wrote notes about all this to various family members and friends. One person commented, “Decluttering has such lovely mental benefits.” Indeed it does. Whenever I manage to collect even a single paper bag of things to give away to a nearby thrift shop, I feel relief and satisfaction when the truck driver comes and picks up the stuff. Thereafter, both the house and I feel lighter, happier.
I hope that our lovely big trees feel lighter and happier, too. I hope that having all that junk and all those pine needles gone will let them breathe more easily and let more of our too-scarce rain get to their roots. I imagine that if they could say “Thank you,” they would. I can hardly say it enough to these two energetic helpers.