Grass is inordinately important to our neighbour. I have never met anyone who cared as tenderly for it or spent as much time coddling it as he. He mows it weekly, waters it constantly, fertilises, limes, weeds, sprays and does everything except stroke it (and he may do that at night – I haven't checked). Dandelions are his mortal enemy, he knows the weed and pest sprayers by first name and thinks of clover as a noxious weed.
I only bring this up because the night before last, he knocked on our door to let us know that he was having his lawn sprayed for pests. Apparently the neighbour on the other side of him has "grubs" (unspecific grubs without nomenclature) and was told by the "Lawn Doctor" that he needed to eradicate them or he'd have nothing but yellow grass. Neighbour two tells neighbour one who decides to jump on the bandwagon and neighbour one tells me. I asked what they were spraying. No one knew. I asked exactly what they were spraying for. They looked at me with "duh" expressions and said, "grubs." So yesterday they sprayed Sevin everywhere. Luckily it wasn't windy and we have a driveway separating us from them, but it'll still take ten days to dissipate. Hopefully the birds and other wild critters will have the sense to stay away.
Since buying this property, which is a mass of hills, slopes and rocks, I've given some serious though to ground cover. More serious than might seem sane.
I've more or less decided that if we have half an acre, I'm not mowing all of it every week. It just ain't happening. My uncle mows half an acre weekly and it takes him a couple of hours. What fun. Besides, we own a powerless push-mower, you know, the kind with the reel and a strong back to cut grass….
I also know myself well enough to know that I won't ritualistically fertilise and weed and trim edges. We've decided that what we want is functional turf to walk and play on that looks primarily green and requires little maintenance, so we've been planting clover and encouraging dandelions.
Being to custodian of a lawn, I've come to appreciate that you can either fight the good fight or form an alliance. I'm siding with the weeds. We live in the country, surrounded by fields and woods. There is no way that I can stop weeds, so I may as well just keep them out of the flower beds. The grass is fair game.
Needless to say, my neighbours are perplexed. When they get a yellow patch on the lawn, they dump chemicals. When we get one, I take it as a sign that there should have been a flower bed or clover patch there. Ultimately, I hope not to have a front lawn, just paths through flower beds.
One of these days I'll take a panorama of the houses along our stretch of street. We're the only ones who have planted any trees…..
Why would you move to the weedy country to have a suburban golf course lawn??!?