Thursday, May 15, 2008

Time to Get Dirty

Yup, it's that time of year again. My hands are covered in dirt and I smell like sweat and compost, with a hint of manure. Blessed is the gardening season.

We're tearing up the front yard (slowly and gently) to expand the garden and rid ourselves of that pesky grass. Okay, it's not entirely grass, there's plenty of dandelions, creeping charlie, and various other unwelcome characters living in the lawn. It feels good to end the cycle of mow, fertilize, mow, weed, mow. You get the idea. Our reel mower means we're using human power rather than depending on fossil fuels. Nonetheless, I'd rather be puttering among plants than mowing the lawn. Then there's the water-issue. Apparently in the 'burbs, even when there's a watering ban brown, dormant grass is frowned upon. I've seen neighbours sneak their hoses out, under the cover of darkness, to water their lawn - $5000 fines, be damned.

I cannot remember the last summer when our region did not have a watering ban at some point or another. Dare I say it? The climate is changing, and frankly I'd rather have fresh clean water than a green, fucking lawn. Somebody tell the neighbours...never mind they'll figure it out. They already think we're weirdos for having a "pesticide-free" sign on our lawn. It stands surrounded by toxic Weedman signs on all the other lawns. (I wonder how Weedman will fare now that our town is pesticide-free?)

Back to the pretty new front garden. Well, it won't be too pretty. I'm rather a messy gardener. The plan is to plant mostly native and drought tolerant plants. I remember reading somewhere* a suggestion to plant one-third of the garden with evergreens, one-third with native plants, and one-third with drought tolerant plants. This makes perfect sense for our climate. We'll appreciate the evergreens in the winter and so will the birds. The native plants provide food for a variety of fauna, they are also equipped to thrive in this climate. Drought-tolerant plants are a given, as I said the climate is changing and gone are the days of predictable rainfall. Though I guess it is predictable, we can count on rain not falling in the summer. As far as I can tell this is true for most of the North America. Last year Georgia's Governor prayed for rain in a large ceremony in front of the state building. I can't help but wonder, was he standing on green grass while he prayed?

*I wish I could give proper credit, sadly my memory is not what it used to be.

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