Monday, July 21, 2008

brand new information about my lawn

So, I totally love it when I find out that some habit of mine has A Name and A Movement. To wit, the "Freedom Lawn":

The freedom applies both to the plants and the people, the latter of whom
needn’t water, fertilize, pesticize, or other otherwise interfere. Nurseries now
sell Freedom Lawn seed mixes, for lawn owners who life in parts of the world
that have been shortchanged in weeds. But even before I came across the official
term, I thought of my yard as a Darwin Lawn. Whatever could survive the mower
and the drought was welcome to stay.

I am a lazy unmotivated lawn owner. I just can't bring myself to care about the lawn. I pay a guy to mow it regularly, but invest not a whit of water or chemicals in its greenification. This is perhaps the result of frugality as much as laziness and my general feeling that the lawn? It's a low priority in my life and my budget. After seven years of benign neglect, my lawn looks much the same as my neighbors' lawns. Patchy under oak trees, a few brown spots, but on the whole greenish when it's rainy and brownish in winter. There's no point in trying to grow grass under a tree, for heavens' sakes! It's all shade, all the time. I've noticed a bit of moss growing in between the roots, and that's nice-looking. I'm not at all opposed to it. I, too, refer to my gardening habits as "survival of the fittest." It's why I'm not so good at keeping plants in pots alive. You have to pay attention to them on a really regular basis.

So it turns out, Freedom Lawn is good for the environment! Yes, yes it is! Woo. I'm a greenie pro-environment lawn-owner and I didn't even know it. Sweet.

Where I learned about the Freedom Lawn:

Turf War: Americans can’t live without their lawns—but how long can they live with them?

I also liked this bit:

The Freedom Lawn is still mowed—preferably with a push-mower—but it is watered infrequently, if at all, and receives no chemical “inputs.” If a brown spot develops, it is likely soon to be filled by what some might call weeds, but which Bormann, Balmori, and Geballe would rather refer to as “low growing broad-leaved plants.

I suppose where I fall away from Greenie Perfection is the lawn guy who I pay to ride around on his enormous riding mower and weed-eat with his noxious gas-powered weedeater. He comes every two weeks in summer, once a month in winter. I'd love to do away with the expense, but I'd have to buy equipment, build a shed in which to store it, and worst of all: mow it myself. In summertime. With the bugs, and the heat. I'm not ready to go that far, not yet. At least, not until I find an acceptably non-ugly shed to build, which I can also afford. Because gardening sheds are either ugly or expensive. Often, they are both. As a commitment-phobe, I cannot bring myself to build or buy an ugly shed. Or an expensive one. So, lawn guy is on the job. For now.

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