May 20, 2012

Adam's Curse

You know how I blogged about our new house and how perfect it is? There is one thing.

Just one little thing.

Only technically, it isn't little. In order to portray the full scope of this problem, I'll just have to show you in pictures:

That's our neighbor to the right.

That's across the street.

That's the Seminary building to the left.

And this is US:

As you can see, we are blessed with diversity not only in our family, but in our lawn as well. We do have some grass

But I'm not sure if it's the right kind.

We are fond of our alfalfa. It is full of vitamins.

And our dandilions are quite lovely by twilight.

Yeah. We tried. Our plan this year was to mow down all the *previous* year's (or more likely years') tangle of alfalfa and various unmown vegetation as short as possible, seed all over and water like mad to get grass to grow and choke out weeds. You see the result.

Part of the problem is the pump. We have a very high water-table, and there's a sort of cistern/pipe sunk into the corner of our yard that collects water that can then be pumped in a system of sprinkler-ports all over the yard. But... when we tried to turn on the pump, the casing broke. It hadn't been winterized while the house lay vacant (of course) so we had to buy a new one. Or actually, we tried everything we could including seeing if someone could weld it back together, look on craigslist for used ones and many other things before we came to the sad conclusion that we would have to buy a new one (and that we had wasted six weeks of the time we were hoping grass would be growing.)

We borrowed the bishop's lawnmower (we're not proud) and chopped everything down to lethal little nubbins that will gouge you if you try to run barefoot through the yard. What you see is what has grown up in two weeks.

My friend Tyler gave me advice about a year ago that we should till and re-seed. I think maybe he is right. Which means that we will be spending yet another summer as the giant field of embarrassment (really, can a yard look any worse than ours? And it's worse than you think. The kids are always leaving toys out. And I didn't post a picture of the few piles of dog poo.) (Dogs are potty training. It's not my fault). And the wind patterns are such that *all* the trash from the high school blows directly into our field. I've taken to paying the kids a penny per piece of garbage they pick up... I think I've paid out more than twenty dollars at this point.

And add to this... our yard is about an acre. The fountain in front, alone, is probably 1/4 acre. Oh, that's right, I forgot. Want to see our fountain/flowerbed? It welcomes all who traverse our circular drive.

Anyway, that's a lot of mowing. That's like four hours of every Saturday gone. That is *so much water* that we literally cannot afford to water it until our new pump arrives in the mail. That is a riding lawnmower... probably several bags of grass seed... likely a hired tractor-tiller. Which also mean hours and hours of removing the stone path (pictured above with alfalfa) that meanders throughout our yard and which the previous owners tell us took many hours of labor to put together.

I feel overwhelmed right now to the point that I'm actually starting to say, "Lawn? Who needs a lawn?" And then I look to the right, to the left, and across the street and realize that I'm in a neighborhood.

Am I complaining about where we live? NO, not at all. We have been blessed with exactly what we wanted. Sometimes being blessed with what you wanted is just hard work, is all. Our kids always wanted a playhouse, for instance. And they got one
Which unfortunately needs to be torn down before any neighbors will allow their kids to play in our yard.


Polly @ Helping Little Hands said...

If it makes you feel any better...our yard is entirely one huge swath of dirt. Dirt that blows into our neighbors yard and all over our porch in a wind storm. And we have wind storms several times a week here. Right before we moved in they dragged up the whole yard to "clean" it...removing all the weeds that were holding some of the dirt in place. At this point, I'd rather have the weeds.

If I were you, I'd figure out ways to not have your entire yard be make that fountain area into some kind of rock garden with a few flowers or something...some kind of flowers or shrubs that don't need much up keep. Our lot is 1/4 acre I think, and I'm a little overwhelmed at figuring out landscaping for it.

Margaret said...

I agree with Polly - lawn everywhere not necessary. My sis in CA has a 2.5 acre lot, and there is a little, reasonably-sized area that is nice and green, and the rest is what they refer to as "the back 40" - dirt for the kids to ride bikes and dig canals, etc. Just my thoughts. :) Good luck!!

And also - cut yourself some slack - you have had a lot going on since you moved in (including getting moved in!), and yard stuff takes time to get into a good groove. You'll get it. :)

David L said...

Ah... a beekeepers paradise. Can I come put a dozen hives on your lawn? :-)

Janell said...

Forget a lawn and a lawn mower. You just need someone to build fencing and keep sheep there to eat all that green stuff.

Anonymous said...

That's okay. Our grass has sprung up and has yet to be mown down. Our new rotary mower arrived broken and Dave needs to take it back before we can cut our grass.
In the meantime, Katherine keeps calling it "wheat" because it's tall enough to start seeding on its own. ;)