Liza Howard

Liza Howard

Liza Howard is a national champion runner with multiple records in distances ranging from marathons to 100 mile trail races.

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Chain link enlightenment

LizaLiza

Our house is surrounded by a chain link fence.  This is not nearly as attractive as it sounds.  I give it a scowl every morning when I look out the kitchen window.  I should be thankful because it keeps Asa contained in the backyard, but I have not reached that level of enlightenment.  Chain Link Enlightenment.  (Comes right after you achieve Barred Window Enlightenment.)  Twice a year the links out the kitchen window are obscured by a beautiful flowering bush in the neighbor’s yard.  I tried to take a picture, but the iPhone camera doesn’t do justice to the hundreds of little yellow flowers.  They’re a little boost of happiness every time I catch sight of them.

So I have a plan for the chain link.  It involves bamboo.  When we were at the garden store two weeks ago, they were selling rolls of cut bamboo that you could attach to a chain link fence.  Meditative Zen garden, here I come.  Of course, the pre-made rolls were wildly expensive.  I figured I could make my own.  So the last time we were at the zoo, I acquired some bamboo.  (No pandas were harmed.)  I put the small shoots in my purse and forgot about them for two days.  Then I put them in a glass in the front window — and watched them wilt over the next two days.  So now my plan is to buy a bit of bamboo and grow it for harvesting.  You hear stories about bamboo taking over people’s yards and forcing them out of their houses — as if it were kudzu or something.  And, of course, it is an invasive, non-native species.  But I’m going to keep it carefully contained.  I swear.

I could go on forever about my thrifty home improvement ideas, but Asa wants to play fire fighter and I need to turn my full attention to deciding which furniture is burning.

Run at Eisenhower Park tonight at 5:30 and Willies afterwards if you’re in town.  No drop — from either place.

Food log:

Comments 7
  • Kerry Rodgers
    Posted on

    Kerry Rodgers Kerry Rodgers

    Reply Author

    Liza, You are totally amazing–they are going to have to erect some tall buildings on the WS course for you to single-bound over so you’ll be a little challenged. But even you will not contain Bamboo. I’m now kicking myself for letting someone talk me into planting oats–but bamboo is 1000 times worse. If you don’t like cleaning house, then bamboo is not for you. At least the chain link fence is low maintenance. I guess when the yard is completely full, Asa can cut trails through it with his machete–assuming you let him use a machete at age 4 1/2–the age he’ll be when the yard is totally full. Postings about the brown thumb aside, it isn’t that hard to get durable plants that aren’t invasive, cover the fence, and even bloom. How much maintenance does your neighbor do on the bush you love? I bet it’s near zero.

    Or you could work a few hours at walmart and then quit so you could buy the rolled up stuff–it does look nice, for a while. I don’t know whether it blooms or not.


  • Sarah
    Posted on

    Sarah Sarah

    Reply Author

    ok, I’m a horticulturist in the midwest and let me tell you, bamboo can and will take over your yard. It sounds like a great idea at first, hide the ugly fence with beautiful green bamboo, until you suddenly have bamboo shoots poking up in your vegetable garden and various flower borders, and escaping into your neighbors yards. There are clumping forms of bamboo that you can get that might be a better option than one that spreads by runners. You could even have a mixed border of clumping bamboo and a really tall clumping ornamental grass with seed heads that will sway in the breeze. It’s just a thought and a little warning for you.


    • lizahoward
      Posted on

      lizahoward lizahoward

      Reply Author

      Okay, you and Kerry have talked me down. It just takes that much peer pressure to sway me. Amazing I’m not a crack addict.


  • footfeathers
    Posted on

    footfeathers footfeathers

    Reply Author

    For the fence, just hang some Christmas lights and car hub caps found on your runs. I think I saw that on Home and Garden Network.
    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3026/2817619554_bdc79865a3_b.jpg


    • lizahoward
      Posted on

      lizahoward lizahoward

      Reply Author

      Oh, that’s really lovely — an “embrace the chain link” approach.


  • niki
    Posted on

    niki niki

    Reply Author

    I know where there is some bamboo growing off Culebra you can probably have for free…actually a couple come to mind..then you can feel good about helping to destroy it! I’ll let you know tonite..