Either we’re hosting a rodent convention in the backyard or it’s spring thaw and the girls have launched their annual worm excavation party.* Not to be confused with a golf course even at its lushest, our motley yard now sports numerous ducky divots and more closely resembles a moonscape than a putting green.
That’s right, here at What the Ducks! April is the cruelest month, especially for that over-rated (sub)urban feature, the Cultivated Lawn. Longtime readers know how much I loathe this 20th century relic and, BTW, where’s my robot gardener, huh?! Thought I ordered one on Amazon. Maybe the drone got stuck in (air) traffic?…
But I digress.
So, yeah, I grumble about the holes but, in truth, the post-snow, pre-green season passes all too quickly. Soon the grass will start to do its annoyingly grassy thing. Yup–it GROWS. In April and May when spring rains co-dependently support a pernicious process, it seems like merely mowing the stuff makes it sprout even faster! Worse yet, the lawn takes off just when the urban farmer needs to focus on other, more productive (read: delicious) forms of plant life. I mean, wouldn’t you rather mess with the mâche and spend time on the thyme?
And why do we put up with lawns anyway? They’re such prima donnas! They need watering, fertilizing, weeding, aerating, mowing and massaging.** They have to be monitored, trimmed, seeded, edged, de-thatched, re-sodded, pH-tested and cleared of leafy debris. I mean, who the ducks needs it?
As much as I tout my push mower and leaf sweeper, surely there must be other ways to enjoy a garden far less laborious. Last year, between too much travel and unrelenting sultry heat, I had to keep paying other folks to mow since I simply shouldn’t/couldn’t. That means, most importantly, lawns cost beaucoup bucks!
This year, I’ve decided to step up the Monoculture Eradication Program by installing more raised beds and low planters as well as a larger pumpkin patch. Alas, that’ll take care of more than half the backyard while, unfortunately, doing very little for the front. Which, come to think about it, really leaves only one possible, environmentally friendly option:
I mean, am I right or am I right?***
**Preferably with people playing fun outdoor games on them.
***What did the farmer say to her sheep when she forgot to bring them supper? I’ll be baaaaack.
Copyright 2014, Lori Fontanes
Good luck with the sheep. I always thought a miniature horse would work well.
As long as it’s the size of a My Little Pony… 😉 (Hey, that just gave me an idea for another post–thanks for the inspiration!)
Great food for thought presented in a humorous way! Just think how much better for the environment it would be without all the gas burning yard equipment using gas and spewing crud into the air we have to breathe! Think how much or critter buddies would like to have a little of their natural habitat back.
Thanks!!! I was *hoping* a humorous presentation would be more useful! And, yes, you’re so right about the critters. 🙂
If not sheep, goats. But, they’ll eat everything.
Yup, that *could* be a problem. 😉
Burn away the lawn and go rock gardening, just like a real garden, but devoid of life.
It totally rocks!
Actually, rock gardens are full of life, too. Moss, lichen, all that pretty low-growing stuff… 🙂
Moss is optional the intention of rock gardens was to contrast the chaos of the natural over abundance of plant life, a quite place of order to clear the mind.
Ah, the Asian-style rock garden! Yes! I was thinking of my parents’ Philly row home style rock garden, up a steep hill where grass used to grow. Come to think of it, it was yet another “we won’t have to mow” strategy!
YOU ARE RIGHT!!! I vote sheep-Go for it!
Alas, the city code would probably frown on that sort of landscaping project. 😉
You could get a really small sheep breed like Shetland or Icelandic 🙂 I’m with you on mowing but my husband loves conquering it and keeping it under his thumb.
Ah ha! Might this, in fact, be a guy kind of lens that sees a battle where gals see, um, a dandelion opportunity? (Note: this is certainly not all males. My husband, for one, has never wasted precious videogame time on something so clearly fruitless as a lawn. But I digress…)
My husband’s all about the battle. 🙂
“hosting a rodent convention” – made me smile.
Yay! Love when a fellow writer likes a line! 🙂 Thx!
I’m with you, Lori! We’ve been working to eradicate our “lawn” areas for awhile now (actually a mix of grass and lots of weeds/moss). Last summer, we transformed a good part of our front “lawn” into river pebbles with a flagstone path and I’ll put containers of herbs and flowers there soon. As a bonus, it reflects more light into our living room 🙂 This summer, I’m hoping to expand the flower/herb beds some. We do have three sheep, but unless you fence them away from fruit trees, shrubs, etc., they’ll eat those too while grazing the lawn. Also, this time of year, the grass grows so fast they can’t keep up!
The pebble walkway sounds lovely!!! And there’s only one answer to your sheep/lawn quandary–rental sheep! 😉