Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Front Lawn Frustration

I have a love-hate relationship with our front lawn. On the one hand, I love the fact that we have such a huge front lawn on our corner lot. Contrary to what my wife may think, I like mowing the lawn and doing yard work, and I steadfastly refuse to pay someone to landscape our yard. It goes against a basic rule of homeownership, owning your home. That may seem pretty basic, but I think owning a home means investing your time, talent, and treasure on personally beautifying your home and making it not only livable, but an enjoyable place to reside. A husband and wife should do this together; they should not delegate it to some random joe blow who doesn’t give two flips about your home, and is just in it to make a buck. Not that I have anything against making a buck. To a landscaper, though, it’s just a house, while to you, it’s a home. Big difference.

I hate our corner lot at times. It has funky angles that render it next to impossible to water the dang thing evenly. Without any shade (fledgling trees provide little) and with the drought from last year, we had a really difficult time combating weeds. Our whole neighborhood has trouble with them. I think it may just be that the soil in our subdivision isn’t naturally conducive to grass and that, coupled with the bizarre angles and uneven water distribution, leads to patchy grass. Part of our lawn looks great, while other parts look like a scene out of The Jungle Book.

It has finally gotten to the point where we think it is time to invest in a sprinkler system. Last summer, it was so stressful going out there what seemed like 24/7 to manually move sprinklers all over the lawn for a couple hours a day. Very tedious, let me tell ya. We are also contemplating hiring Tru-Green to help with the fertilizer since yours truly is a total blockhead apparently with putting down the right stuff at the right time. Now, this may seem to contradict the rule I laid down earlier about hiring somebody to landscape, but it doesn’t. Here’s why: I still plan to mow and weed and trim and all the other manual labor aspects of keeping a lawn. I am simply making life easier by having a sprinkler automatically water the lawn in a more efficient, effective, and economical way. Sometimes you have to recognize your weaknesses, and despite multiple attempts to fertilize properly, I think I botch it every time.

Hopefully, the sprinkler system and Tru-Green can help me get back to an exclusively loving relationship with my front lawn rather than a love-hate relationship. I think front lawns can teach us a little something about prudence, like what can we do well and what do we need help with. Perhaps there’s a lesson in the TLC of front lawn management for other facets of life, too.

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