Occasionally I pull my birding binoculars off the windowsill and examine plants. How sad is that?
The other problem is that I notice things less obvious on the ground, like the large patch of dead lawn next to one side of the peninsula bed. It's a strip about eighteen inches wide at the widest point. It is entirely my fault--I planted lantana and pineapple sage in the bed there, not knowing what those plants do in the south. (Answer: They do very very well.)
The lantana didn't survive the winter--it's not supposed to in my zone, so I was pleased it didn't, but jesus, I see why that's an invasive in slightly warmer climes. The pineapple sage did just as dramatically, turning into a shoulder high shrub. (I tried waving the little tag at it, informing it that it was only supposed to get three feet high and was Doing It Wrong. The plant ignored me. It's back again this spring. I may have to keep it pruned this year.) It's just that spot, too--the pineapple sage on the OTHER side of the bed remained a reasonably well behaved, if vigorous little plant. I think it probably gets an hour or so less sun a day there. Go figure.
Anyhow, the two crazy growers muscled their way out into the lawn about two feet, and smothered everything under it. This spring, that patch is bare--there's one or two little clumps of grass, but it's mostly empty.
And y'know...if there's nothing growing there NOW...I could just bump the bed out over that semicircle, break up that bare clay...dump in a bag of dirt and some mulch....and hey, I HAVE a bag of dirt! And some mulch! It's practically begging to be added! And that's a couple of square feet less of lawn for Kevin to mow...and I could transplant the false indigo, which is getting lost next to the chicken, into that spot...and I'd have space available for that inevitable moment later in spring when I see a plant that I Really Really Need...
Right, off to buy bug repellent and then, perchance, to garden.