Three weeks ago I hauled out my shovel and my grubs and got to work digging up the grass. Not all the grass, but a small swath surrounding the curb garden and the Chinese Pistache. Baby steps.
The plan is to replace it with drought-tolerant ground cover or small paving stones. Removing the grass is also better for the tree. Most trees need very little water once established. Ours is no exception.
This is my attempt to reduce the ‘footprint’ of the lawn in our parched corner of the world. We re-landscaped our front yard about three years ago, in part to install a ramp. My sister, who struggles with MS, could barely make it over the threshold of our home. We removed the original lawn, put in a deck and the ramp, then rounded things out with shrubs…and more grass. Although the square footage is less, I still find myself feeling a bit guilty offering a drink to a thirsty lawn during a drought.
Any way, back to the shovel and grubs. I worked for an hour and this is all I have to show for it.
It was much harder than I thought it would be. I don’t have the tools (nor the spine) to complete it. I feel a bit defeated by it all, as this was my idea, and I really want to see it through. I’m having to face the challenges of aging joints, old injuries and the reality that I’m not in my twenties any more…or thirties…and so on.
Plan B is to hire some help. I have three projects that need more strength then I can muster:
- removing a thick, dead vine,
- replacing what’s left of the lavender, and
- getting rid of the swath of grass.
One of our beloved Hardenbergia died last year. It used to cover the entire fence in the spring and summer with stunning purple blooms. I pruned it back each year, and it returned bigger and brighter than ever…and then it didn’t. I waited an entire year, because I hate giving up on plants. Not the tiniest sign of life. It needs to go.
The lavender is dwindling, too, for reasons unknown. We started with five plants lining the deck. Four thrived, one struggled and finally died. Last fall, a second one died and then the frost hit. They’re all looking pretty sad. I figured it was a good time to take them out and replace them with drought-tolerant Salvia (Mexican Bush Sage). Saliva is also a beautiful purple, and it attracts hummingbirds and bees. Once established, it doesn’t need any water! You can’t beat that.
Those are my big projects for the season, and I can’t do any of them myself. I’m struggling with that, but at the same time need to face this reality and get on with it. My sister helps me keep it all in perspective.
Aging is not for the faint of heart.