Okay, let’s take stock.
Francisco appeared to be truly sorry that he’d destroyed our garden. Better yet, he promised to come back and fix it.
What a guy!
Except that we never saw him again.
We called his cell phone several times but he didn’t pick up. We left messages but he didn’t return them. We considered sending carrier pigeons but figured he’d just shoot them.
Several thousand bucks down the drain, and our garden looked worse than it had before we started. Not quite the triumph we’d hoped for.
But it was time to move on.
And so—standing on the balcony early one morning a couple of days before our return to D.C—I began formulating a new plan.
First order of business: we desperately needed some sort of “privacy screen” between our property and the house below.
Francisco’s bougainvillea hedge was supposed to have served this purpose, but frankly the desiccated bonsai shrubs he’d ended up planting wouldn’t have shielded an ant colony from a leprechaun.
I tried to shift my brain into creative mode, but it wasn’t cooperating.
I went inside and poured myself a huge jolt of caffeine. Okay, now focus.
How about a trellis fence?
Hey, not bad. I’ve always liked trellis. It’s attractive and inexpensive, and you can train vines to grow up, around and over it. And a trellis fence would provide just enough privacy between our properties without seeming unfriendly.
To create an even more informal effect, how about two sections, I asked myself, one set back slightly from the other? Now I was cooking.
When Michael joined me on the balcony an hour later I’d already made a rough sketch of the fence, which I later translated into more detailed drawing.
Yes, I know it looks a bit OCD, but chances were we wouldn’t be around when the fence was built, so I wanted to be as specific as possible about what we wanted.
Michael seemed to like my idea, so now all we had to do was find someone to build it. But more about that later.
In the meantime, to satisfy our more immediate horticultural urges, we decided to replant the sections of the driveway area Francisco had decimated.
Off we went to the nursery, and twenty-four hours later the garden looked almost as good as new.
Francisco was already a distant memory!