I hate my lawn. It has never been much, just your average postage-size ubran lot's attempt at a lawn. The reason I hate it so much is because as a kid I was the one responsible for planting sod every couple of years. We did it every couple of years because my parents never understood the concept of preparing the soil so that a healthy lawn could be established. I was the one who was charged with turning over our heavy clay soil in the spring and then laying down the sod that would look good for a year or two before it became patchy or was overpowered by crabgrass.
Because of my traumatic experience with lawns as a youth I've never liked them. That's not to say I don't like them in parks or I object to you having a lawn. On the contrary, if you want a lawn and your zone can sustain one naturally lay all the sod or sow all the grass seeds that you want. But in my urban garden there isn't room for a lawn and I mean that literally and figuratively.
Over the past two years I've been replacing the grassy area with Crocus corms that are planted in the fall and bloom early in the spring. What I love about Crocus corms besides the wonderful flowers is their grass- like foliage. As an alternative, if you don't want to remove your lawn you can peel back sections of it and plant crocus or under your lawn. Since the leaves of this corm look like grass it blends in well with your lawn and can be mowed. By the time your lawn comes out of dormancy the leaves and flowers of your crocus have died down and you can continue with your normal lawn care regiment. Another thing I've been doing is allowing weeds like Clover to have free reign in my garden because they attract many beneficial insects into my garden.
My hope is that within two years all of the space that was once grass will be covered in bulbs that naturalize or weeds that add to the biodiversity of my garden. What has renewed my commitment to eliminate grass in my garden is the case of Betty Perry. You may remember Betty Perry as the 70 year old woman that ended up bruised and under arrest after neighbors complained about her lawn turning brown. Last night on a news program I heard audio tape from a hotline the Atlanta Department of Watershed Management set up so residents could report neighbors watering their lawns. I know that the drought problem is severe and that water needs to be conserved but listening to those people call in and snitch on their neighbors made me feel ill. There's a break down in the community when people are calling hotlines and reporting that their neighbor's lawn feels wet. The thing about the audio tapes of the water stoolies that I found the most interesting was hearing how many of them seemed to be whispering. Why the hushed tones on the tapes? Could it be because of feelings of guilt or shame?
I'm glad I'm not a lawn kind of guy.
Back in March I wrote about buying cheap bulbs for the garden at the ALDI grocery chain. On Monday I bought and planted bulbs from the same source but I also found a good price on crocus bulbs at the home improvement store, Menards.