Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Less grass, more interest

It's really time to get rid of more grass. The drought is an incentive, not that we ever water our drought-tolerant Zoysia.

But the frequently-trampled patches that used to be full of honeybee-friendly clover have become hard-packed clay punctuated by unattractive tufts of something unrecognizable. And as we're walking more around the house (post-garden shed) and taking Mocha (the pampered Golden retriever) out the kitchen door more (the main vegetable garden side), we're wearing down a path more than ever.

I've been planning a flagstone patio on the porch side for awhile, mirroring the front walkway that I put in last fall, but I'm thinking I'll extend it around the house in an informal path, replacing the scruffy grass between the house and main vegetable garden with some sort of mulch or gravel/mulch mix beyond that. Flagstone there would be too much, competing with the house and the main vegetable garden's stacked stone edge.

And the slope below the house that's drying up after two summers of extreme drought --why not convert it to a drought-tolerant 'gravel garden' like Beth Chatto's in Essex, with mixed herbs and flowers? I could create a retaining wall of stone on the slope with defined paths.

I'm ready to get rid of the riding lawn mower that we had to buy when we first moved in, faced with almost two acres of grass. We're now down to maybe 1/4 to 1/3 an acre of grass, well within range of a newfangled reel mower!


  1. I love the idea of Beth Chatto's gravel garden, with mixed herbs and flowers?

    Hang on to the ride-on - it is much easier, even for a small patch.


  2. I appreciate the sentiment, but I wouldn't mind getting a bit of exercise in exchange for not dragging out a big lawn 'tractor' from the garage. And, a reel mower could be used for small patches of grass that don't warrant the big mower!


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