Is it passion or obsession? Do I need a hobby, a diversion, something to get my mind off what it’s so firmly fixated upon? Okay, I admit it: I talk about it a lot. The house, the yard, the seemingly endless, growing, shaggy carpet of green that is my lawn and my ongoing quest to pull it all together.
It’s been a little over a year
since I moved in here and it seems like I should have accomplished so much more
by now. Yet when I think back on the months that have slipped by, I spent a lot
of time unpacking and sorting and finding places for all the things that
spilled from boxes and bags all over the place. And the yard isn’t quite what
it was when I moved in. There are more flower beds, a bit less grass. I’ve
stuck to my conviction to do it my way – organically, in harmony with the
natural world around me, even if a part of that world, the lawn my father spent
over 50 years cultivating, is at the top of my It’s Gotta Go list.
Why? I admit the lawn is gorgeous
when mowed to glistening green perfection, but then it rains and the sun shines
and the lawn becomes too wild for my likes – shaggy, unruly, something Dad (a
man who proudly mowed twice a week in peak grass growing season) never would
have let happen. That left me with limited options: mow the nearly acre sized
monster (requiring most of my free time), hire someone to do it or make the
lawn something more manageable by making it gone. Or at least mostly gone.
There is, after all, nothing like walking barefoot on a hot summer day through
the freshly cut grass, deeply inhaling that wonderful fragrance. So there must
always remain some part, just about enough to mow to the point of feeling
virtuous. As for the rest, the possibilities are boundless – trees, shrubs,
annuals, perennials, and on and on.
Now the lawn-that-was is spotted
with a dozen dwarf fruit trees, as many blueberry bushes, and ever increasing
beds of flowers and herbs. Oh, and veggies, too, to be sure all the senses are
satisfied. Yet the massive expanse of the lawn remains, ever trying to retake
ground claimed for planting beds. Mulch has become my ally, bags brought home
by the Jeep full, a soft brown carpet to replace the green. Trays of plants
wait beneath the crimson maple tree. And the grass grows.