Call me a party-pooper, but I won't be decorating my yard for Halloween with spider webs, tombstones, skeletons or other such popular decor that marks this holiday.
I can appreciate the whimsy of it all and the desire people have to make things fun for the kids, trick or treeters and for themselves, but making my yard look ugly is not a priority on my to do list.
I just completed the renovation of my yard that took me four long years to finish and with the wild fires around me in Southern California wrecking havoc, it just doesn't seem right to be celebrating "dead things."
I lost my taste for Halloween decor the first year we started the landscaping project.
The sight of construction debris, day and night, was hard to live with.
It must have been a nightmare for my neighbors.
To add to the madness, whenever I got close to finishing, I'd get a new idea and embark on construction again.
I always felt guilty when the neighbors would see me unloading more construction material.
They were so patient with me , even though my yard was the bane of the neighborhood.
I had "regulars" who would come by for project updates.
"Looking good Shirley"
"Yes, in about two weeks"
Sometimes a neighbor would linger a little longer.
"By the way, I watched you on Garden Police last night!"
Shirley Bovshow and Michael Glassman are the hosts and designers of "Garden Police" on Discovery channel, making over the "worst front yard" on the block!
Self conscious of my unfinished work, I wondered if they were sending me a hidden message:
"You hypocrite Shirley!
Your yard is worse than the ones you makeover on your show!"
Shirley Bovshow as Garden Police
Three weeks ago, I top dressed my garden beds with a delicious, three-inch layer of aromatic, peach- pit mulch .
That act signaled that I was officially "done" and I could wipe off the imaginary scarlet letter that marked me as the "bad neighbor" for four-long- years!
Finally, there was beauty around me again!
Then the Santa Ana winds blew in and ruined everything!
If you've been listening to the news, you may have heard that the seasonal winds have caused a lot of damage in Southern California this week.
The violent fires and winds have done all the Halloween decorating for us!
"Skeletons" dot the landscape.
We have "skeletons "of burnt houses, "skeletons" of once majestic trees that are now reduced to charred stumps, and an eerie "ghost town" feeling looms over neighborhoods that were evacuated because of the fire.
I need to clean up my garden.
The yard is ugly again.
No need for fake decorations.