One of the things I had forgotten about the South was the lawn worship. Southerners like large lawns and love to spend time and money making them look great, which usually means a monoculture of grass. Yes, this is going to be a rant post. On my bike commute last week, I was overwhelmed by the smell of chemicals on the lawns I passed. Could have been fertilizer, weed killer, pre-emergent, or combinations thereof.
I’ve always been sensitive to the environment around me. I was a Boy Scout, read Silent Spring while in elementary school, and have been nurturing plants my whole life wherever I have lived. Some people even call me a closet tree-hugger. But I’m more practical than that. I simply want to make the environment I control to be as healthy and productive as possible while minimizing my impact on environments outside of my control.
So that is why I’m a big fan of permaculture and diversity. Much to the chagrin of my wife, our lawn does not look like a golf-course. It is devoted to plant diversity which most Southerners would call weed-filled. But I love the fact that I don’t have to water it, fertilize it, or put chemicals on it to make it beautiful.
Now for those of you who actually pay attention to my posts, I have my limits. Witness the Whack-a-Mole scorecard, which incidentally stands at Moles 2, Paul 1. I let them frolic until I couldn’t take the tunnels of dirt spread across the yard. So I guess that makes me a permaculture hypocrite. So be it.
However, one major advantage of my diverse lawn is Spring flowers. Right now my yard is awash with violets and other flowers that makes it feel more like a meadow than a lawn. Which is what I prefer. Enjoy some shots of my Spring lawn!