20 May 2008

Freedom Lawn

Without knowing it I have been a proponent and supporter of the Freedom Lawn! This term was coined by Hannah Holmes in a book titled "Suburban Safari." I read it a few years ago and wrote a review of it on this blog site. In a nutshell: I don't water, fertilize, pesticide, herbicide or do anything else to my yard but mow it. Frankly, lately even mowing has been a rare occurrence. This spring I've been particularly occupied. I visited the folks before they went on a month-long vacation, the next weekend I left for 5 days in Chicago and in-between I had a particularly busy week at work. That all meant that my yard was exceptionally neglected this spring. My front yard consists mostly of cool-weather grasses and the back yard consists of mostly warm-weather grasses. I keep hoping the buffalo grass will take over, but it's patches seem to get smaller and smaller each year. sigh.

Last year I chipped the blade on my mower. In fact, I think the blade has been bent. I knew that this year I couldn't mow the yard before fixing the blade... which likely means buying a new one. I also knew I would be out of town or busy for the critical 2-week period between winter and spring in Nebraska. So, before the yard got completely out of control, I found an ad on CraigsList.com of a guy who could mow my yard. The guy who replied was from "Get R Done" lawn care. I think "R" actually stands for "reluctant." I told him I needed the yard mowed within the next week. Over a week later, the lawn still wasn't mowed! I came home from a 5-day trip to Chicago and the grass was over a foot tall! Well, to make a long story short, I contacted a local garden center who tends to lawns and they agreed to do an "emergency mowing" on Tuesday morning. But when I arrived home 16 days after I originally contacted the lawn guy (on Monday), the lawn was mowed! It even looked pretty good!

I guess the only lesson is that as I left for work the day the prairie was mowed down, I noted a small patch of buffalo grass... it was a perfect 2-inch plot whereas the rest was 2-feet and seeding! Lesson: grow buffalo grass!!!

I still support the freedom lawn. And I also understand the absurd obsession that Americans have with their lawns; so, I will continue to mow even though I'd rather replace the grass with chamomile or thyme or cloves. Someday soon, this will all change...