With an early spring, almost non-existent winter, copious rain and the organic treatments, my lawn is out of control.  When most people look out and see all that green stretched like moats around their suburban castles, they smile and sigh in nature-enhanced bliss.  When I see my lawn, I think, *#%&!  Time to mow again.  Didn’t I just do that three days ago?  What’s with this weather anyway?  Can’t we get a nice drought going or something?


Lawn: Before re-purposing.

Lawn: More fun, less mowing!


As my readers know, part of my goal when we bought this house last year was to convert as much of the existing landscape to eco-smarter strategies.  Well, let’s say it’s a work-in-progress. What with all the other renovations we wanted and/or needed to do, it’s been too expensive and time-consuming to create the sustainable Nirvana of which I’ve been dreaming.  But baby step by baby step, we’re making progress.  Here’s what we’ve accomplished so far:


Platform planters on deck with vegetables and herbs

Low planters on grass with potatoes in sacks and tomatoes (coming soon…)

In-ground raised beds–future Three Sisters plantings. Note, they *will* eventually be in the ground. I have to deal with the dratted lawn inside the beds first!

Moved rhododendrons, rose bushes and miscellaneous ornamentals and planted five dwarf and semi-dwarf fruit trees. This is the first sign of life from the Beurre d’Anjou pear.

Added new red maple in the backyard for autumn color (and just because.)



Potted olive and fig trees for outdoor summer and indoor winter living  (Not sure how well they will do so call it an experiment.)

More to come this year:

Remove more lawn and replace with sunflower and wildflower beds

Replace scanty lawn near pine trees and create a blueberry patch with stepping stones to the backyard


Meanwhile, there’s still  too much lawn to mow.  And now the bad grass is starting to overwhelm the good grass.  “Bad” is my non-technical term for the kind that my push mower won’t cut.  Hand-trimming with grass shears is a tedious and tick-possible option so I’m thinking of getting one of those Amish scythes they sell at places like Lehman’s.  I’m also looking at rechargeable lithium edge trimmers if I can manage to leave the ducks long enough to drive across the county to buy one.*  If only the girls would grow faster and eat more grass.  Alas, they really aren’t designed for that kind of lawn removal service.

Hey, what about a goat?!


*Yesterday I finally just went to Home Depot and bought one.  If you heard someone shouting “Uncle!” yesterday around 9:30 AM EDT, that was me.


Copyright 2012, Lori Fontanes