Jurassic Lawn-The Conclusion
If you have read the first two segments of this tawdry narrative, you know that I, obviously enveloped in a pipe dream, had knowingly planted and nurtured four lawns. Two of them were the size of king-sized mattresses, and two of them somewhat larger, but as is most often the case, size is not important.
I get it. What I saw as “WestSide Lawn,” HappyDay Farm Management saw as “Clockwork Lawn.” What confused me for the longest time was the fact that everywhere I walked on the farm, in every one of the different venues where vegetables and cannabis are grown, so are flowers. There are dozens of varieties, resplendent in all of their glory, both indigenous and planted. Many are harvested and formed into stunning bouquets each week, but most are not.
From the hundreds of volunteer sunflowers to the plethora of other ornamentals, all of which are watered through the emitter systems in place on the farm, I saw beauty around me. I admit that I struggled with differentiating between water used to grow thousands of different flowers, over two or more acres of tilled farmland, and a lawn that would have measured twenty feet by twenty-three, if the four little dudes were assimilated into one.
If there were a drought in effect that impacted the farm to the extent that I could not grow my lawns, then why were there thousands of flowers everywhere, soaking in water, when they could be pulled so that there was more of the precious nectar for that which was more important?
When the proverbial stuff hit the fan, and I staggered away from the unscheduled confab with HappyDay Farm Management, after the smoke had finally cleared, what I learned was this: Lawns were a cultural symbol of sorts to many, representing a societal level of affluence that was looked down upon by the powers that be, none of whom was me.
Lawns were verboten. "Frankenlawn?" Other than the obvious-to-everyone-but-me, it was also explained that in the past I had not responded well to being told what to do, and therefore, no one had wanted to tell me what to do-or what not to do. That included lawns.
What I wanted to know was why it never occurred to anyone to ask me, rather than telling me. I will candidly admit that I do not like being told what to do.
OK, it’s more than that; I won’t do what I am told. There, that was easy. But I will kill myself to please the powers that be, if I am asked. I don’t quite get it myself, but I do know the older I get, the less I am inclined to follow directives. Ask me anything and I’ll tolerate huge doses of physical pain to attain it, but tell me I have to do something, and watch bodies crash through the windshield as I hit the brakes. Weird.
So it wasn’t the messenger(s), it wasn’t the message itself, it was the method of delivery that caused me to sever connections that will take time to repair. They will mend because that’s the way it works in families, and hopefully some measure of learning has taken place so that we can continue to build on the knowledge that has been gained.
Meanwhile, out of chaos has come order. As life continues to weave its intricate tapestry, different events mesh and become as one. With Annie being forced to give up her spot in Willits because we simply can no longer afford the luxury, I was determined to create a space here on the mountain that best replicated her tiny backyard down in Willits.
With a little bit of help from me in the beginning, she had fashioned a colorful-though limited-flower display in her little yard. After nurturing it for more than two years, she had had to give it up. Now I wanted to recreate that spot so that Annie would feel more kinship right here at home.
After having turned the soil over in the three newest lawn additions, burying the grass forever, I proceeded to turn my attention to that original lawn, grown upon soil brought by me via wheelbarrow, back in 1992.
I dug up the grass/turf and piled it in the center of the area and formed wooden boxes around it, using materials scrounged from the back yard. I used ancient split rails, two-by-six redwood that had been formerly employed as veggie boxes, and four-by-four posts that were originally fence posts for the original stockade.
I have converted all of the outside homestead to emitters to minimize water usage, and am continuing to develop the area so that Annie has a place to sit and enjoy a glass of zin in the late afternoon, if she is of a mind.
I am deriving much more enjoyment from the creation and planting of the herbs and ornamentals, than I ever derived from the lawn, especially since it was always dried up by August anyway. As I have found repeatedly throughout my life, the most trying of times, produce the most satisfying of results.
Now, instead of “Draculawn,” we have “The Invisible Lawn,” and a great success all around.