When my dear wife Karen was pulling weeds and sprucing the spot we call our backyard butterfly garden behind the Little Bitty in the Syracuse city neighborhood of Eastwood, Good Neighbor Tim saw her from his side of the fence.
She was struggling with the stuff coming over from the dead spot behind.
He offered advice and a couple of pair of loppers to make her job easier.
And when he saw me later, he told me his plan to help. I had to take the thick growth down or it would eventually knock over my fence. He was sure of it. He had the tools and would join me.
I signed off on it all except the Roundup part. Karen already had voiced her fear that rainfall would carry the weed-killer under and disturb the root system of her cherished good stuff, the butterfly bushes and other great plant life that fill that gated triangle.
The next morning I pulled out my own large looper and walked through Tim and his wonderful wife Lorraine’s backyard to the dreaded jungle. He popped out their side door, sprinted to their garage, and grabbed his small, medium and huge loppers, too.
Hover over a gallery photo to find a description. Click on an image for an enlarged slide show.
I worked my way in clipping, using all the tools. I handed the branches back out to Tim. Lorraine came out and started piling. Karen joined us for bagging in their driveway.
The loppers were no match for the thickest tree, which Tim identified as a thorny Poplar. He retrieved a long-handled, angled saw, and I took that baby down.
The poplar trunk was several inches thick. I know I hadn’t been behind this fence since we’d replaced it when Ellie B was a pup. She’s 5 years old now.
When we were done, Tim asked if I was going to blog about our shared adventure. Of course, I said, thanking them profusely for their help. I lamented how I had not thought of taking a before photo.
Quick thinking led me to an After After photo of the bags we’d stuffed with the green branches I’d cut down behind that fence, the young trees that Tim could see from his yard that made him worry they’d knock down our barrier.
We took more of Tim and Lorraine’s advice, and piled the bags into the back of Karen’s Mazda to take to the County waste station ourselves because pick-up day was three weeks away.
But before that, I snapped one more shot. I needed a photo of Great Neighbors Tim and Lorraine with their lovely garden. Yes, a view from their pretty side of the fence.
What may you have lopped lately? What other words can you offer that sound exactly right for the jobs they do? What lies beyond your fences?