Sunday, October 5, 2008

The Incredible Shrinking Lawn

That patch of green that covered my front yard until this spring really couldn't even claim to be a lawn. It was more a display garden of the common weeds of the southeast coastal region. Crabgrass and nut sedge and sand spurs, ohmy! It was time to either drag out the herbicides, the pesticides, and the garden hose or get rid of it. It is gone. Not quite 100 per cent gone but there is only a 28' circle of lawn surrounded by colorful annuals, perennials, and a healthy dose of fast-growing tropicals to fill in the blanks until the trees and shrubs start growing.

The thing I needed the most each time I expanded the beds wasn't compost or muscle power but courage. My neighborhood is full of lawns that march straight from the front door to the curb. How would the neighbors react to my nonstop beds? Okay the truth is, I wasn't even sure how I would react. Would my yard look eccentric and silly when it was all done? In the end, my disdain for mowing the weeds outweighed any doubts I had and the beds kept getting bigger and bigger.

Five months later it isn't quite finished. There are a couple of spots where I'm creatively stymied but 85 per cent of it is in place and flourishing. I'm thrilled. It takes about five minutes to mow the circle of lawn, the yard is more private than before, and it just looks so stinking pretty! How could little green blades of grass possibly compete with plumbago and roses and porterweed for beauty? And the neighbors I worried about? They love it!

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