Again yesterday I was reminded how alike yet different we humans are. I was talking to a colleague, who mentioned she was very happy because this summer they were FINALLY getting a lawn. They had built a new house on a wooded lot a few years ago, and this summer were finally going to clear the trees in the backyard and put in a lawn. She could hardly wait.
This is such a contrast to my gardening goals, I was incapable of commenting much, instead I was thinking to myself "What, are you insane? You'll have to buy a noisy smelly evil lawnmower, then use it to MOW the lawn, and then fertilize the lawn, weed the lawn, reseed the lawn, rake the lawn, de-thatch the lawn, send the lawn to college, etc."
Here I am with an enormous lawn I can't WAIT to be rid of, and this woman is spending thousands of dollars to make a lawn. Had I several thousand dollars on hand, I'd have a landscaping crew in here digging up the lawn and installing trees, shrubs and perennial borders right now this INSTANT (7 am on a rainy Wednesday.) Actually, they'd have done it last week.
As of May 7, we've already had to mow the lawn. From now through early July at least it will need mowing at least every 7 days --really every 5 days but who has time for that? It will slow down after that, maybe every 10 days or so, but our soil is very rich and moist so we have green growing lawn even in dry years, sigh. I console myself with thinking that at least when we are FINALLY rid of most of the lawn, we'll have lovely rich moist soil for our borders of trees, shrubs and perennial flowers.
Sunday Dan and I walked over to my friend Karen's home and got a tour of her lovely woodland garden. Karen also lives in the village, and purchased her home just a few months before we did in 2000. Her lot is similarly shaped, long and deep, but her lot slopes down in the back, and had been allowed to grow wild and woolly for years. Consequently, she had lots of mature deciduous and some coniferous trees, and not as much lawn. She has done a wonderful job of selectively thinning the trees out and creating a fabulous woodland garden, a wonderful mix of native plants and a stunning brick patio made with reclaimed bricks that looks like it has been there forever. I think I'll have to post some photos, if she'll let me, because I love it, and every time I am there I learn something new and see another plant that I think would look great in our garden.
And so I will continue to nibble away at our despised lawn, starting with the large woody border trees/shrubs, and as they grow, planting smaller shrubs and perennials in front of them until as last, we have a tiny little patch of lawn to mow, or maybe no lawn, just a stone patio. In the meantime, I have got to convince Dan that a small goat or two would be much easier than the incessant mowing, AND we'd have goat manure to compost, and goat cheese, too.