Thursday, April 26, 2012

Life With Meadow. (Not a tampon ad)

For those of you who've been riding the roller coaster known as My Front Yard Meadow, you may have noticed that this not an approach for the anal retentive, tidy-minded, control freaks of the world.

Who needs tidy when there's POPPIES.

 Not that I want to scare anyone off of turning their lawns over to create their own personal near-xeric WILD ASS meadow in their yards, but I am still getting used to Life With Meadow and thought I'd drag you all along for the ride today.

 I'm the nicest.

Life With Meadow - sounds like a lame TV show that might be on Lifetime. I assure you, this is not that.

See - there are the upsides to the concept:
  • You can get rid of your water sucking lawn and it's water shooting sprinkler system
  • You can roll your mower into the street for the garbage truck to play with
  • You can go through intensive physical therapy to regain full use of your rotator cuff and then never use the muther effing asshole string trimmer again
  • You get to inhale all the oohs and aahs from your neighbors as they admire the many colors of poppies sproinging loose from your yard all over the damn sidewalk
  • You get to watch hummingbirds, butterflies, honey and bumble bees, lizards and finches all return to your yard to play, eat, kill one another and fornicate now that it's no longer a wasteland of useless lawn out there
  • It's pretty

This is the former pee-hole. I think you will agree that it has improved somewhat.

But then there are also the downsides, which, now after more than a full year's seasonal changes under my belt, I'm just starting to get a handle on:
  • In some seasons the yard just looks like shit
  • There's some maintenance involved in ripping crap out once it's gone to seed (poppies - I love you but WOW do you get ugly when you're done)
  • You find trash that's flown into the yard and gotten stuck and then you have to pick it out and throw it away
  • Some neighbors think you're totally a nutter
Now, I can still count and that still looks like more pros than cons for the Front Yard Meadow concept, but I thought I'd be remiss if I didn't bring it all out into the open for you fine people so that no one went wandering off into the sod cutter rental yard thinking that yard dominance was at hand with just a few quick swipes of the yard.

That is not so and I'd be doing you a disservice to lead you to believe that it was, indeed, so.

Instead I will tell you that I'm pretty SUPER glad that we're past the It Looks Like Shit Right Now But Wait Until Spring When It Looks Really Pretty time of year (AKA Fall and Winter) and getting into the Yes It's Beautiful Now So Please Remember This Come Winter When It Looks Like Shit Again time of year (AKA Spring and Summer).

 Another thing about this whole meadow concept is that it's not a one shot deal. You can't just (or, I guess *I* can't just) plant it once and forget about it, leaving it to do its xeric beautifying of the neighborhood without any additional intervention.

No. It needs help.

Help in the sense of pulling shit out that randomly grows (weeds, overturned lawn with a new found lease on life, the nefarious offspring of one slutty Guara...), pruning crap back that gets wildly out of hand (Guara, aforementioned suddenly virile lawn) and planting new stuff in the spots that become bare from the pulling out of shit I don't want.

It's a process, you might say. It's a "labor of love", some might say even though that trite bullshit saying makes me want to jam spoons into my ears and those of the person saying it.

I'm going with - it's a process. And I'm getting used to it. Life With Meadow means I'm not done yet and I probably won't ever be *done* and that's actually OK because I like this messy, weird, unpredictable space way better than the neat, tidy and predictably needs to be mowed every five goddamned minutes in between intensive waterings lawn that lived here before.

So, there's your Front Yard Meadow update. I'll be sure to post some photos after the whip and chair taming action I'm going to lay down on this beast this weekend whilst handing out tomato plants.


  1. I'm here to tell you (from personal experience) that your front yard is fu*king GORGEOUS (we can say swears here, right???).

    Now I don't know, from "Code Enforcement's Perspective," whether your yard qualifies as "blight" (and it might! Honestly, how fu*ked-up is that????) (but you have "personal experience" with the bullsh*t that is San Jose, yessss???).

    (We *can* say swears here???)

    Anyway, I am totally on-board with "Finny's Naturalized 'Lawn'." Looks Awesome! (which does NOT contain swears!).

    Anyway - LOVE your front-yard! Don't change a thing! And I think that, even if you DO have to pull a few plants, and re-seed with others - it's STILL a helluva lot less maintenance... And certainly requires fewer resources - i.e. water - than a "traditional" water-sucking lawn would require!

    Keep it up, girlfriend!!!



    P.S. It's Official: I killed Cassandra Cuke (Boooo!!!). But the 'maters look Fine 'n Dandy!

    1. You're too kind! Thank you! I'm bummed about your cuke, but I'm SO happy the tomatoes are doing well. Tomorrow - lots more go to their *forever* homes :)

  2. I love it! It's gorgeous! I love that I don't have lawn in my front yard either. I can't wait to get rid of the rest of it, I just need more energy :)

    1. Yeah, the first burst of ripping out, flipping over, landscape fabric, planting, etc took a good blast of energy. Since then though...lots less work than mowing the effing thing every weekend.

  3. We need to do something like this in Tahoe way in front near the gutter where all that water flows almost year-round...... Thoughts? We'll have to discuss.

    1. First - we throw some wildflower seeds out there as soon as the snow melts. Then - we talk. And we also talk about those vegetables...

  4. So pretty and so worth the minimal work by comparison of a water sucking lawn. Brava!


[2013 update: You can't comment as an anonymous person anymore. Too many douchebags were leaving bullshit SPAM comments and my inbox was getting flooded, but if you're here to comment in a real way like a real person, go to it.]

Look at you commenting, that's fun.

So, here's the thing with commenting, unless you have an email address associated with your own profile, your comment will still post, but I won't have an email address with which to reply to you personally.

Sucks, right?

Anyway, to remedy this, I usually come back to my posts and post replies in the comment field with you.

But, if you ever want to email me directly to talk about pumpkins or shoes or what it's like to spend a good part of your day Swiffering - shoot me an email to finnyknitsATgmailDOTcom.