As usual, there is so much more to the story.
This is a rental property. And the lady who lived here alone for a long time, has given it to a 'knock-on-your-door' church. At first I thought she had been taken advantage of, but the neighbors tell us she was often after them to belong to her church. Now the rentals from this and two other properties go to support her in another apartment where she lives, through some kind of lawyer.
This property was neglected for years, and renters have been very transient, to say the least!
The overgrowth has nourished the soil wonderfully. The cutting back of some of the thirty-foot wide junipers, for example, took us great effort, but the soil grows everything four feet high!
The neighbors love that someone cuts the grass!
Next door there's a young couple who tend gardens for a living. They are generous with us on shared shrubs and bushes, and once did a complete trim around the edges. But they don't have time to take us on as fulltime paying customers. I don't know what the lawyer would hold still for in property maintenance. The agent put two thousand into some 'yardwork' before we rented, and got royally ripped off...all they did was hack.
I thought of sharing the garden with some people this year. But the hot weather was upon us before we knew it. This is an early morning project, if I ever saw one.
I have insomnia something awful. And another complaint or two that limits my efforts to mad dashes at pruning. My husband is a very active man, but riding the lawnmower we bought at a garage sale is a major task on these slopes. Most everything is volunteer growth, although the original junipers were planted on purpose. The ocean of them nearly obscures the front view of the house.
The ownership of this house is very depressing. Makes our tenancy uncertain, although we can apparently do anything we wish, up to a point. My husband has replaced six plumbing fixtures, and added three screen and glass outside doors...all from garage sales. We hired film put on two huge windows, to manage the heat in the house. The agent loves us.
We operate the automatic built-in sprinkler system, otherwise we couldn't handle the watering. Apparently previous tenants didn't because the female blue spruce in the middle of the back yard looked awfully raggedy. We are so proud of its refreshed blue color and perkiness. ...And the birds that live here.
We've made collections of various things we keep finding at garage sales, at prices we can't refuse.
Leftover yarns is one of them. We have a huge carpeted basement room full of yarns, all sorted and packaged into a rainbow. They can be used for scrumbling. See http://www.knotjustknitting.com
(scroll down), for examples. You'll love it!
We have several other lovely things to offer people, including the most marvelous 'how to get what you love' groups, but we can't seem to get people to come to our house...not even our neighbors whom we have met.
Probably I'm too 'sincere', or something.
'Scuse me for rambling on here. I'm pretty low today.
And, again, thank you for your thoughtful response. I wish you lived next door.