When my wife used to travel on business, I would sometimes take those days off from work and carve a couple feet of lawn away, add some plants and rocks, and see if she noticed when she came back. It isn’t that I am anti-lawn, it is just that I am more pro-landscape. As a plant, lawns are a great foil in the garden: they create contrast between order and texture, the steady green setting off the colors of bed and border. They are great places to sit and play, to lie in the sun; freshly mown grass is the scent of summer. They are also expensive to maintain and a lot of work to keep looking nice.
Using the last couple hundred bucks left in the construction budget, I was pretty excited to have my ten by twenty-foot kidney of lawn. It would make a tidy remove from the street, a place to put the wading pool or to watch the Beaver Lake Triathlon go by, and I could mow and edge it in about ten minutes. Then we had one foofillion straight days of rain. The lawn drowned. I thought about a gravel bed, or a tapestry of groundcovers. I considered raising the lawn area by 6-10 inches for better drainage and trying over. Then, driving home one day, I saw a truck from Synthetic Turf Northwest http://syntheticturfnorthwest.com/ . Oh, y-e-a-h. Sure, I am writing about something that I hired someone else to do, but it was my idea, and it rules. No water, no fertilizer, no maintenance. The closer you get to it the more real it looks, like a rye grass lawn complete with a brown thatchy fleck. No grass stains and it dries almost instantaneously. It is potentially recyclable. It might be fun to chip golf balls off of it into the swamp…but I won’t do that.
The first time the sun made a cameo appearance we all lolled about on our grass-esque rug, looking like a family of beached belugas and chatting with the constant stream of bicyclists, joggers, and dogwalkers. I have calculated the amortization schedule of my synthetic lawn relative to the costs of real grass, and I feel smart. I am tired of fighting…Our grass is dead…where the sun now shines, I will lawn no mow forever.