First, to vent. I haven't posted in a few days because my whole photographic world is in shambles. I won't burden you with the details but think New Editing Program, New Pixel-Packed Camera, the Burning and Copying of countless CDs and their subsequent Storage for ready Retrieval, and finally, Old Editing Program that suddenly won't even talk to me, complaining of a "full scratch disk." I've heard that one that before. But because we Southerners know how to carry on in adversity, I'm choosing lawns as a good photoless topic and forging ahead.
Lawns are a huge topic these days, specifically how to reduce their size or even get rid of them altogether. Then there's the more moderate approach that I took in my recent column, "Earth-Friendly Lawn Care Throughout the Year," in which I lay out the consensus among environmentally responsible experts - to use only organic products, mow higher, tolerate some weeds, and so on. I think I even slipped in a promo for clover, to no one's surprise.
Next up is a column tackling a much more controversial subject: are turf grasses inherently bad, even if they're cared for using these environmentally correct techniques? And what alternatives really work? I'm hearing totally contradictory statements by seemingly unbiased, well-informed sources - so I'm loving it!! I'll let you know my take on the subject as soon as I have one.
FOR MY OWN LAWN I do have a position and a plan: I've reduced the size considerably but will keep what's left for utilitarian reasons - like walking, hauling a garden hose in every direction, and occasionally mowing. And I'm keeping my lawn because - don't let anybody fool you - most alternatives are more maintenance than the lawn itself! Yes, as heretical as it sounds, ask people who've gone lawnless how much less maintenance they have now and they'll laugh. Seriously. That's because it's really the traditional, perfect lawns that are so much work, not the profoundly imperfect kind of lawn I have. And most borders, god love 'em, are a lot of work.
And here's the other part of my plan: to gradually transform the lawn I have left into a healthy patch of biodiversity, to include turf grass, clover, attractive weeds like violets, and anything else I can find that might work. So what do you suggest? Remember it can't be so tall that a garden hose would catch on it, and it has to be drought-tolerant, walkable and mowable. Perhaps a touch of thyme?