My attempt to move from Southern California and create a happy and sustainable urban homestead in North Dakota, with some musings on life with deaf dogs, a gluten free spouse, and the occasional mischievous garden gnome. Thank you for visiting and I hope you enjoy.



Monday, July 11, 2011

The Corner on First Street

I could go on a very long tirade on why I hate lawns.  We'll save it for another day, but suffice to say that I just don't get it.  Maybe it's because I don't have kids who need to safe place to play under my watchful parent eye, maybe it's because I don't see my lawn as a status symbol that I need to maintain to impress my neighbors, or maybe because I see nothing therapeutic or beneficial in the time, energy, and money it takes to maintain that lawn.  I really think people are just stuck in the status quo, this is how we've always done it, this is how I'll keep doing it.  Bleh. 

Due to all these lawnophobic tendencies I'm slowly engaging in getting rid of my lawn, either turning it into garden space, fruit tree orchard, or annual/perennial shrubs and flowers.  I have to do this slowly so as not to alarm the locals (any more than they're already alarmed by my very odd ways).  A few dozen square feet every couple of months (during the warm planting months that is) get reclaimed from boring green crew cut grass into something more interesting. 

So when Alycia wanted to plant some flowers in the corner of the yard I was enthusiastic to help.  OK, maybe not super enthusiastic since the project would involve me doing all the heavy lifting. shoveling, moving dirt, etc. while she got to plant pretty flowers.  It's an acceptable bargain, I know my role in life and that's to move heavy things and provide the manual labor. I actually stalled her for a bit by convincing her that we couldn't dig the ground around the power pole because the power pole might fall down.  I convinced her that the poles are actually not very well supported (why else do they always fall down in windy weather or tornadoes???) and we'd be flirting with disaster if we dug around it.  This only worked for a few minutes, but was a fun exercise in messing with Alycia. 

The area in question is right on the corner, outside the sidewalks, against the street and has the electric power pole right in the middle of it.  It's never a good looking space, and in order to even make it decent looking, you need to weed whack all the tall grass down, and even then I still think it looks unsightly.  Here's what it looks like on a good day. 
Here's a closer view..
We actually got the idea to fill the area with flowers (a couple of different kinds of marigolds) from a neighbor down the street who does the same thing.  I need to let him know that we copied his idea, hopefully it's not copyrighted or anything.

It looks so much better like this, and it's that much less lawn for me to mow every time.
It looks a lot better huh?  It'll look even better in a few weeks once the marigolds really get to blooming.  I really enjoy projects like this, taking one small space at a time and changing it, rather than being immobilized at the overwhelming task of the big picture.  I can't get rid of all my lawn at once, and the task of transforming large swaths of grass is a lot easier to envision if you carve it up into small chunks. 

Do you have any lawnophobic tendencies?  What would your ideal yard/landscape look like?  Would it have lots of lawn?

3 comments:

Karen said...

I love your new garden around the power pole, no more weed-whacking and mowing.

Now, I have come full-circle with this goofy garden of ours...for years we were creating gardens and often joked that the lawn was merely a path to and from the gardens. That was all well and good til we hit 50 and now the idea of more lawn than garden is starting to look really, really good. I have a ZTR mower and can mow this joint in under an hour (two acres). We're in the process of turning some gardens back into lawn now because it's sure a lot less work to mow than weed. Just can't keep it all up and I feel like the garden owns me.

One year we rented a goat (long story) but apparently you need two goats, because the one we had spent his time crying for someone to be near him and was mostly interested in eating the laundry!

Sara said...

As the one who doesn't do a thing with our back yard, I don't think I'm allowed to offer any lawn opinions other than that I love the marigolds! Nice work! :)

El Gaucho said...

Karen - I fully believe that I'll be in your camp down the road a bit. The grass is always greener (or at least easier to manage) on the other side. You seem to have large open swaths of grass and a very efficient mower. I have a much smaller lot, but lots of nooks and crannies and awkward spaces. Once I get rid of all the spaces where it's hard to get the mower into, lawn management should be much easier.

Sara - and those aren't even the cool looking marigolds, I'll have to post some pictures of my favorites, small foot-high compact bushes with many tiny little yellow or yellow/orange flowers.