Sort of Green

It’s been nearly 5 years since my family and I have moved to the land of mini-vans, back yards, and large supermarkets. Another more common name used for this piece of Earth is suburbia. Before we moved to this family filled location, my wife and I talked about what we were most excited for.  I don’t remember our top five, but I do recall that mine included a drive way and hers included a garden.  Yes, I was happy to escape the monotonous tortured search for parking, and my wife was looking to develop a green thumb.

We settled on our house in April and moved in at the beginning of July. Within that time, the lawn went from green to brown, and we have been fighting, unsuccessfully, to revive it ever since.  The lawn has settled into a mix of green, brown, and bare patches of Earth. We’ve tried planting grass to fill in the patches, and we’ve planted flowers to beautify the lawn but nothing has sprouted. It has become clear that if we had to rely on our farming skills to eat, we would be mistaken for skeletons. I figure at some point the neighbors will crack and chip in to buy us a sprinkler system.

People really our serious about their lawns in suburbia. If one were to take a drive around our neighborhood during a spring or summer day, one would notice automatic sprinklers going off (usually first thing in the morning – supposed to be the best time to water the lawn. I have learned something) and landscapers performing their duties. However, at our house we have taken a different and clearly unsuccessful approach.  In addition to praying for rain, I move our, $9.99 Home Depot, sprinkler around the lawn to try and get the most coverage. Secondly, I am the landscaper (to save money and so the children will take note of self-reliance.  Not quite Walden, I know.).  This is ironic as mowing the lawn has always been one of my least favorite chores. When I was growing up, I engaged in hand to cord battles with an old lawn mower pull cord that left me with a couple of calluses on my hand. I cursed that machine many times over. I begged my parents to replace the lawn with pavement (not very Earth Day of me). I told them we could put in a basketball court, and I would play all the time.  Ultimately, I would earn a scholarship to college, and the paving would pay for itself. Nothing doing.

Last fall, we had a professional come and do a Fall clean-up.  Afterwards, the lawn looked so great that I wished it could have just stayed in that state (kind of like I wish the bed would stay made and my face would stay shaven).   Alas, no miracle occurred and the grass has been growing. I guess I will have to keep mowing the lawn – at least what’s left of it.  So much for a green thumb.

4 thoughts on “Sort of Green

  1. This made me smile! 🙂 We have the opposite problem… our neighbors all have perfectly trimmed lovely green lawns and we have a knee high dandelion filled field. It seems no matter how often we mow it’s never as tidy as everyone elses! Oh well. If that’s the biggest problem we face we’ll be ok. 🙂

  2. Your post gave me pause. My husband and I are making the big move to New Jersey this summer and we are both very excited about the lawn and all the planting we want to do. It never occurred to me that we might be terrible at it! We are city slickers, after all. A question–are you fertilizing? My sister and her husband had a similar problem with their lawn and they actually paid to have professionals come out and fertilize but they used only organic treatments because they didn’t want to add chemicals to the ground. Their lawn did not thrive. They are convinced that you can’t have a nice lawn without using a lot of chemicals–but I don’t know if that’s true. I hope your luck turns around with the lawn! I know how stigmatizing a brown yard can be in the land of the lawn obsessed.

    • Firstly, good luck with the move. We had challenges when moving out of the city as well.
      In regards to fertilizing, we have chem lawn or one of those services that comes out periodically and handles that sort of thing. I think the lawn would be fine with more $ and time.
      Thanks for reading and good luck with your house and lawn.

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