Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Yard Work

The heartleaf philodendron is one of the most common house plants you will find. When I lived in Chicago you would see it in homes, offices, and classrooms. It was ubiquitous. The reason for that is because you can't kill the damn thing. I've seen them all yellow, hanging forlornly, and on their last leg. Yet add a few drops of water and a hint of sunlight, they spring back to life. The real trouble with them is when they are introduced into a Florida yard. Some years ago one of my tenants had a sickly heartleaf philodendron so he placed it out in the front yard, still in its planter. Now, many years later, that tiny, pitiful plant has grown to monstrous proportions, and is eating my house. It has grown up the walls, digging out chunks of stucco and shooting tendrils into my eaves. It has spread over the entire front courtyard smothering every other plant I had out there. So over the weekend I hired a very nice man to come in and remove it. For hours he was out there pulling and yanking. He piled it all up in front of the house and the next day the garbage truck came by and took it away. When the nice young man was all done out front I asked him how much money he needed for such a labor intensive job.
            "Twenty five dollars."
            "Excuse me, twenty five dollars. For everything?"
I immediately asked him if he could return and chop back the out of control bougainvillea in the back yard. He'll be here today. I expect this to cost a little more than the front yard. Bougainvillea have two inch thorns sharp enough to slice deeply into your flesh, so maybe thirty dollars?


  1. Wow, what a difference. It was great to see you guys, and meet Bette and Chandler last week. Thanks again to Mark for the Bonnet House pass, we had a fine tour. Now I wish we were back in Florida. Got 5 more inches of snow here yesterday!!

  2. It looks very nice, Alan. Where will all the giant bugs and rogue pet pythons hang out?

  3. By June it will be overgrown again. Besides, on the other side of the fence it is wall to wall ferns. Giant ferns.

  4. I hope you gave him a tip.....a good money one! Thats how you keep them coming back for other jobs!

  5. Yes Peggy, I paid him more than double what I paid him last week and added another ten on top of that. He sets the amount, not me.