Monday, June 18, 2007

The Lawn and Shortening of it

Here in suburbia the sure way to watch the arrival of a new generation is to see grass turn into rocks. I don't mean marijuana replaced with crack, which may be the way things change in some urban nabes. No, I mean literal grass torn out, along with wasteful sprinkler systems, to be replaced with small geological objects, tree bark and plants bred to survive nuclear summer.

Jesus, why wasn't this a sign of hipness when I was a kid and my dad made me decapitate a half acre of grass every weekend with a push mower? That's how old I am, push mowers. Now, as I look up and down my new street, I see that slightly more than half the front yards are quarried rather than cultivated. The yuppies, water conservationists and rock-huggers are here, and the Greatest Grassgrowing Generation is dying off.

I'm still stuck with a small, kidney-shaped plot of grass in the backyard. The previous owner assures me the token grass isn't a filled-in swimming pool, although with the current heat wave I've been putting enough water on it to fill a pool. Then, every few days, I go out with a weed-whacker and cut it. It's not big enough to need a mower. It's mostly edge. The process is maddening, so as fast as I can I'm digging up patches of the mini-lawn and planting tomatoes, cucumbers and arugula.

Yes, arugula. It survived ridicule and the '90s, and it might survive my gardening.


Dagny said...

In the 80s my mother replaced the grass with rocks and some drought-resistant shrubs. The poor lawn never fully recovered from the drought of the 70s.

cookiecrumb said...

Ha ha. The share-a-potty 70s. Gad.
Cranky and I are about to take a bucket into the shower to collect water while we wait for hot water to reach the down-the-hall bathrooms. Remember buckets in the shower?

Dagny said...

Hehehe. "Don't blush. Share a flush." Or my fave -- "If it's yellow, let it mellow. If it's brown, flush it down." And don't forget about putting empty bottles or bricks in the toilet tank. I think I still shower quickly as a result of the 70s.

Rev. Biggles said...

That's cool. I'm kinda doing the same with concrete. Smashing holes in it to fill with planted material. Am now considering making a hole so I can put in a fire pit. mmMMmMmM, fire pit.