Losing the lawn

I couldn’t agree more with this:


We’ve had a good bit of rain over the past couple of weeks, so my lawn is greening up without the benefit of sprinklers – but only until the next long dry spell.  Here’s a recent picture:

The north lawn

The north lawn

The green patches are where there are sprinkler heads; they don’t work, but apparently they do leak to some extent, so the area around them gets some water and the St. Augustine grass is flourishing there.

I’m going to plant some beach sunflower tomorrow.  It’s a great ground cover that requires very little water once it gets established.  It will take care of the brown spots and any stray St. Augustine grass that has managed to maintain a presence.  Eventually, all the grass in the north lawn is going to be gone.  The plan is for a sidewalk with strategically placed stone, mulch, pavers, ground cover, and low-maintenance grasses, like pampas and the smaller ones of that type.

The tree in the picture is a true survivor.  It’s an evergreen like a live oak, but it has berries – it’s some kind of bay tree, I think.  It smells nice when it’s pruned.  It used to be a huge tree that shaded that entire lawn and side of the house.  It had been around a long time – my neighbor said he used to climb in it when he was a kid, and he has grown kids now.  The trunk was partially hollow, and there were birds nesting in it.  Unfortunately, Hurricane Charley brought it down, in August ’04.  My neighbor cut it up for me, and we just left the stump – I had thoughts of putting a chair out there and using the stump as a side table.  Then the trunk started sprouting new little trunks – and now, almost four years later, the tree is getting back to being a real tree.  It’s getting tall and spreading out really nicely, and is starting to provide decent shade again (although it’s got a long way to go yet to match the shade it used to produce).

Anyway – the lawn is gradually going to go away.  I’ve talked about it before – keeping a green lawn is a huge water waster, and I don’t want to do that any more.  My plan is to lose the lawn, step by step.

I’m sure the neighbors will appreciate it when they don’t have to look at the brown patches and weeds any more.  🙂


2 responses to “Losing the lawn

  1. When I lived in Austin, I planted Bermuda in the sunny area and had a terrific lawn. In the back, I used Raliegh, which in the mid-80’s was a recently introduced form of St. Augustine.

    Lawns are the most intensive element in the landscape. I live in Minnesota, so it’s not water so much as time and expense.

    Good luck with your project.

  2. Thanks, Carl! Bermuda grass does do pretty well here; I have a friend who had it because his daughter is allergic to St. Augustine. I haven’t heard of that other kind; I’ll have to look into that.

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