More FW Dirt!

Friday, April 22, 2011

"Why Would You Do That?"

(Boundaries - Part 2)

Can renters make the leap from only caring about the inside of their unit to making the outside beautiful and comfortable also? Yes, its only a rental. You don't own the place -- but you do actually. It is your home, the place you park your bike.

I come from a suburban community. A house with a yard. It was not always my yard but I had control over my yard's design direction even when renting.

With a yard comes things. Lawn mower, a tool of every variety, containers (some with plants that actually made it through the winter), yard art, and furniture. I have worked out a "deal" of sorts to work the dirt around the building in exchange for a corner or a spot for our "things". Eddie (the owner) has been very helpful weeding and paid for bigger purchases such as soil, mulch, gravel and some plants. The bulk of the plantings have been from my recent purchases or plants that have survived the move and this winter. So I take how the "dirt" progresses very seriously and somewhat personally.

My husband and I have slowly "taken over" areas and cleaned them. "The pit" improvement has stalled as I have been working quite a bit lately. The slab in the alley-way has been found again. An attempt has been made to clear the North side of the building for landscaping but has stalled as the guys are still working there. I have hauled out all the trash and debris from the NE corner and now all plants awaiting planting are housed there. My husband took the weed-eater to the lot West of us. This may make a great place to do some "guerrilla-gardening*" but we may have to wait to see if there will be any rain this summer.

A neighbor mentioned last summer the alley was a source of mosquitoes. My husband soon took to the task of cleaning, mowing, and weed-eating the alley-way clean. An other neighbor then asked, "Why did you do that?" Answer: We have the resources to make an area nice. We enjoy working outside even if it is not "our dirt". We don't want any mosquito problems this summer, either.

Within a day, a neighboring building noticed the cleaning and offered to assist in keeping the area clean. A little bit of progress can energize a community. Just because the area is not our "responsibility" does it not warrant our respect?

Back to my pondering on boundaries. I do respect others and their needs, space, boundaries, etc. and want to take all into consideration before areas are revamped. It is not "my garden" now any more than the day I arrived but I have taken pride and ownership of the area. FW Dirt is now my home and I want all to enjoy it.

*guerrilla-gardening - article coming soon...


  1. I think you may have a problem with the boundaries. The longer a renter lived in a unit the more they "own" the area around them. Also I notice they tend to expand their outside area.

    Hopefully as the garden develops, peer pressure will kick in and the garden will become a community project.