Lush lawns: the must-have accessory for bold gardens

Friday, July 15, 2011

Good-ness! It's been awhile since I posted. Here's the quick update on the seedlings. A good number of them survived, despite the fact that I neglected to transplant most of them out of their six-packs.

These castor beans were a few of the ones that found permanent homes in the yard, and well, now I think they're just showing off to make the others jealous.

It's pretty amazing, really. Some of the plants that were stuck in six-packs were 18" tall and had shoved their little roots out the bottoms of the pots and into the soil below. I'm convinced that the only reason they survived at all was because of the microirrigation system that my husband set up. I seriously love that man.

And speaking of irrigation and why I love my husband, that brings me to my next tale.

For awhile now, we've been making plans to replace our old "mixed" lawn with a new, freshly sodded, beautiful green lawn. My husband is a turfgrass researcher, so it's perhaps not surprising that he wants a nice lawn in front of our house. Of course his specialty is golf courses and athletic fields, so I'm pretty confident he'll never turn into one of those crazy lawn-obsessed men who you see weeding their yard with tweezers every Saturday morning!

I've never been the kind of person who felt compelled to have a nice lawn. Mostly it's because I'm lazy busy with other things and don't like the maintenance involved.

That being said, I've come to realize that a good looking lawn can work wonders in a garden. As y'all know, I'm the kind of gardener who likes to mix lots of bold textures and colors in my plant beds. As lovely as that can look, it can sometimes be a little visually overwhelming. That's why you need a quiet place for the eye to rest -- like a lawn.

Lush container at McMayhill & Baker home


Landscape bed at Bates Garden in Portland

Think of it as the gardening equivalent of a neutral. Having that constant green backdrop will help make your bold and exciting plants really pop.

So we've been trying to kill off what's left of our current lawn. In short, it's ugly. After the winter rye grass petered out, we were left with brown, brown, and more brown. Ugh. I'm somewhat embarrassed about what my garden looks like right now. I know it's temporary, but I still feel like the neighbors probably drive by every day and wonder what the hell we're up to.

As I said, our plan is to completely re-sod the front yard, but there's something important we had to tackle first. Check back tomorrow for the full post on how we installed our own irrigation system!


Kyla said...

Oh, that is a great way to look at a lawn! I personally am not a great fan of lawns. I think the space should be used for something more productive, but I can see what you mean.

I have always thought a small amount of lawn was good as a play area for kids and adults to hang out on. Just not quite to the extreme many people have taken their lawn...

Anyway, great post and I can't wait to hear about how you installed your irrigation system. I've been wanting to do that myself, but I don't know anything about how it is done. So, please share!

Have a great day and talk to you later!

Leave It To Davis said...

I love working in my lawn when I have time. It is relaxing and rewarding when we have some rain! Nothing makes you feel closer to nature than to feel that dirt in your hands, take a seed or bulb and drop it in, add a little water, and watch it break through the soil, stretching out towards those sunrays.

Those were beautiful pictures of lawns! I wish mine looked like that!