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Old 10-11-2017, 11:24 PM
 
Location: ☀️ SWFL ⛱ 🌴
2,439 posts, read 1,675,248 times
Reputation: 8721

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Quote:
Originally Posted by oddstray View Post
Having a yard doesn't mean you must have a lawn. After 12 years of drought, there are few lawns left here in SoCal. There are some quite attractively xeriscaped yards. (And some really ratty-looking pretend-xeriscaped-but-really-just-ignored yards.)

And as long as we're being gender-ist here, what's with these women and their oh-so-perfectly clean and decorated living rooms? jk
Xeriscaping is a nice alternative to a lawn. Two homes on our street went that way and neither have a lawn now. One replaced her grass with pavers and mulched paths and well thought out plants. The other has paths between an over abundance of plantings. Both are avid gardners and their landscaping was beautiful until both had serious medical conditions, at different times, and couldn't maintain their landscaping.

A weekly lawn service can be had cheaply in FL: a single guy can mow, trim, blow and are gone in under 30 minutes, less with a full crew. There are literally hundreds of them in the area, the competition is stiff, keeping prices low. Not so with zeriscaping, it's not easy to find and retain someone to hand weed and trim back the growth on an entire yard during the summer wet season. Plant growth is tremendous and maintenance increases. It's not as difficult during dry season in the winter when growth slows down, that's when xeriscaping is at it's best here.

Both yards looked unkempt within a short time as the women could no longer take care of it by themselves. One eventually sold and moved to a condo and the new owner has had many of the plantings removed. The other one's husband has been trying to do the work, but gardening isn't his thing: the plant/shrubs are approaching jungle status.

After seeing what happened with these two, I've rethought zeriscaping an entire yard in FL. A homeowner has to be healthy enough to maintain it themselves or have enough money for a gardener to come regularly.

I still prefer the look of zeriscaping over a large green lawn, but won't be replacing all my grass. At least not in FL now that I'm older.

Last edited by jean_ji; 10-12-2017 at 12:15 AM..
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Old 10-12-2017, 08:17 AM
 
1,527 posts, read 635,525 times
Reputation: 5072
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yeledaf View Post
In some ways, I approach lawn care as a kind of tribute to my dad. It was important to him, a child of the Depression, to have a nice yard, just as it was a point of pride for my mother to keep our home cheerful and clean. Long before the "sexual revolution", they worked as a team and we kids (my sister and I) had chores according to our abilities. Nearly all of our friends and neighbors lived similar lives. I try to make these points on the P and C board, but always get snarled down by the younger crowd with posts about racism, etc., which seem so strange to me coming from young white people who have rarely interacted with members of other races, while my home town, even in my earliest memories, was thoroughly mixed. It was just not a big deal to us, white or black. We were too busy working to involve ourselves in social issues on behalf of others who lived far away, I guess.

But patiently caring for a lawn, maintaining a (15-year-old Lawnboy!) mower, raking leaves, etc., helps to validate me as my father's son. He was a good, steady man and a good provider. It doesn't bother me a bit to follow in his footsteps when it comes to taking care of our yard and lawn. He always advised me to do what I can as long as I can, just as he did. Good advice so far!



This is it! My dad also loved a beautiful lawn and several of the kids, including me, inherited that lawn-loving gene. We had the best lawn around. All of us (including mom)were involved, weeding, raking, mowing. We had a reel mower, so no engine. Daddy was a hard worker and he also did what he had to do to provide.

We also had the cleanest house around. Most of us were involved in that as well. The girls got more of the cooking, washing, ironing but the boys did windows and walls and tidied their own room/made their own beds.

I am 65 and single, so I do the inside work and the outside work myself. The result is that my lawn isnít quite as nice as my dadís was and my house isnít quite so clean as my momís was, but both are still pretty darn good if I do say so myself.

Last edited by Gusano; 10-12-2017 at 08:27 AM..
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Old 10-12-2017, 09:04 AM
 
6,307 posts, read 4,752,208 times
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I remember years ago getting Spring fever and fertilizing my lawn. What a mistake. I had to mow every week. I should have used grass retardant. Now I have mostly plants and ground cover. Btw I like the look of those yellow flowers others consider to be weeds.
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Old 10-12-2017, 10:47 AM
 
Location: USA
1,815 posts, read 2,245,143 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orngkat View Post
DH and I are kind of amazed at the number of older retired men on our street (where we just moved to) who spend crazy amounts of time every day tweezing their yards. I love gardening too however this seems to border on the obsessive. Weather permitting...the blowers come out every day and each fallen leaf is blown away even though it is autumn and there is no stopping the leaves until they are done. Every three or four days the weed trimmers and mowers come out. And then of course daily watering so they can do it all over again. My analyst mind is just wondering what causes this strange obsession with the perfect lawn?


They worship at "the altar of the green"
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Old 10-12-2017, 10:51 AM
 
6,640 posts, read 3,758,794 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orngkat View Post
DH and I are kind of amazed at the number of older retired men on our street (where we just moved to) who spend crazy amounts of time every day tweezing their yards. I love gardening too however this seems to border on the obsessive. Weather permitting...the blowers come out every day and each fallen leaf is blown away even though it is autumn and there is no stopping the leaves until they are done. Every three or four days the weed trimmers and mowers come out. And then of course daily watering so they can do it all over again. My analyst mind is just wondering what causes this strange obsession with the perfect lawn?
I think once every two weeks is overkill. I also disapprove of blowing leaves away.

I prefer the look of a slightly unkempt yard, and some leaves around. It looks more natural, more aesthetically pleasing. In my case, my little red brick house looks more like a cottage in the woods that way (what with the trees I have). I hate that manicured look. If I could, I'd have something other than grass in the front yard, so it'd never have to be mowed. But there are reasons why that's not feasible.
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Old 10-12-2017, 11:42 AM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
29,839 posts, read 54,538,129 times
Reputation: 31199
I spend time in the greenhouse taking care of the vegetable garden, and many hours manicuring my bonsai. The lawn, however, gets minimal attention. In our climate it only grows enough to mow in spring and fall. In winter it stays green but dormant, in summer it goes brown by mid-July. Most people let it dry up until the September rains, I will water just enough to keep it partially green. I always thought it was odd that here where it rains 9-10 months of the year no one has sprinklers, and 90% of lawns look dead in summer, while in places like California with less than half the rain they all have sprinkler systems on timers and keep the lawns nice and green all year (except for drought restriction years).
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Old 10-12-2017, 12:09 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
14,261 posts, read 44,955,618 times
Reputation: 12877
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hefe View Post
Just the whole concept of a "lawn" - a large empty unused space except for the mostly grass whose condition is monitored by the neighbors, that in many cases is the largest open land on the house site & not used for anything - that concept is mysterious & almost alien to me. I get it that it is a privacy barrier to put distance between the inhabitants & any lookie loos, but it seem to be such wasted space. I get gardens & such but not the empty grass lawn, I would rather have that space allocated to the back or side & be used for cookouts, veggie garden, deck, kids play area, shed, etc... Instead it sits there empty & unused except for the maintenance it demands weekly.

Just another reason I'm not a suburban type o' guy I guess.
Well actually a lawn around a house has a practical function - it deters, to some extent, mice from coming into the house, they don't like to cross that "dead mouse's land" where they are easy for predators to see.

The lawn does not need to be manicured, just reasonably short.
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Old 10-12-2017, 02:48 PM
 
Location: Texas
1,971 posts, read 1,377,307 times
Reputation: 6745
I like a nice green well maintained yard, with trees and shrubs nicely trimmed. It helps the economy and keeps people working. Not everyone can work in a coal mine.
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Old 10-12-2017, 02:49 PM
 
3,803 posts, read 2,020,841 times
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Men who prefer to do weekend mowing and yardwork as opposed to setting a romantic mood are men who don't love their wives anymore.
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Old 10-12-2017, 05:00 PM
 
Location: Eugene, Oregon
9,178 posts, read 3,017,195 times
Reputation: 13858
Quote:
Originally Posted by orngkat View Post
DH and I are kind of amazed at the number of older retired men on our street (where we just moved to) who spend crazy amounts of time every day tweezing their yards. I love gardening too however this seems to border on the obsessive. Weather permitting...the blowers come out every day and each fallen leaf is blown away even though it is autumn and there is no stopping the leaves until they are done. Every three or four days the weed trimmers and mowers come out. And then of course daily watering so they can do it all over again. My analyst mind is just wondering what causes this strange obsession with the perfect lawn?
I have a home lot that is double the standard size and over the years, I've converted about 90% of what was a large lawn area, to trees, shrubs, flowers and evergreen ground-cover plants. I've established very narrow paths through it all and it takes just a few minutes to zip down the small amount of grass, with an electric weed-eater. The wild birds and animals love my place. The neighbors have a very talented cat that comes over and eats all the non-native and destructive squirrels that show up here. I've seen no evidence that he's ever caught a quail, dove, songbird or flying squirrel, even though he'd probably like to.

This type of yard is very enjoyable for me and aside from pruning the trees and weeding each spring, isn't much work to maintain.
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