A month ago when we had just returned from India, I was sitting in my office looking out the window at the front lawn. The grass on the east side of the front yard is one of the few remaining patches of green. However, it is clear that that area is not getting enough water. The tricky thing is to adjust the sprinklers so that the water reaches the edge without spraying onto the walk. I’d rather see brown grass than know that I am watering the concrete so this area will always be a problem.I squint my eyes and imagine the garden that runs along the sidewalk wrapping around the corner. Yup, another opportunity for lawn reduction! And furthermore, my husband is traveling, the perfect time to make the sacrifice.
Burned out lawn
I usually dig out the lawn when extending a garden bed. This time, however, I will just plant something in the corner and cover the surrounding grass with mulch, or not. Too hot to do much work.
Unfortunately, it is summer and not a good time to plant. Nevertheless, we have been away for six months and I have been in garden-withdrawal. I gotta do something! Seeing the garden with fresh eyes has given me quite a few ideas for changes that I’d like to make this year. For example I plan to remove many of the large bunchgrasses that are growing in the parkway garden on the east side of the house. These grasses, deergrass (Muhlenbergia rigens) and alkali dropseed (Sporobolis airoides), were among the first plants I used when I began converting the parkway to a wild garden. I planted some way back in 1999.
Although the parkway is six feet wide, these older specimens now need to be pruned to keep them from spilling onto the sidewalk. I am going to dig them out, and divide and transplant them through out the yard. The idea is to simplify both the design and maintenance of the yard by repeating three plants that seem to love it here: coast live oak, toyon and deergrass.As expected the following days were brutally, record-breakingly hot. The grasses look like straw but I think they will make it anyway – we’ll see. These plants, unlike many other California natives, can take summer water without rotting out. I could give them a neat haircut but I think I’ll just let them be because I’m not especially fond of sheared grass.
As expected the following days were brutally, record-creakingly hot. The grass look like straw but I think they will make it anyway – we’ll see. These plants, unlike many other California natives, can take summer water without rotting out. I could give them a neat haircut but I think I’ll just let them be because I am not especially fond of sheared grass.