Aug 31, 2009

On Creating Peaceful Spaces for Only a Few Dollars

Pictured on your left is a small garden I created this afternoon, and at the moment I took this picture my Puggle (whose name is Chauncey Gardiner) already appears to be plotting ways in which he might make mischief.

The centerpiece of this peaceful space is a mound of zebra grass, and I added a few Asian lilies around the outside. These I picked up inexpensively at Home Depot, where the approaching end of summer means that perennials can be snatched up at ridiculously low prices (the lilies were four for $12). This is like renting a mens tuxedo for a couple of Benjamin Franklins in the weeks after prom and wedding season.

I dug up the slabs of rock from underneath a section of my lawn. A former owner apparently despised ground cover in the form of living plants, and there are untold dozens of chunks of limestone and sandstone slabs yet to be excavated that once served as walkways and perhaps a patio.

My ultimate goal on my one-third acre double lot is to transcend the standard urban lawn in favor of a multitude of such small garden that will be interspersed with grass walkways. There is a twofold purpose to this plan: I will create a variety of eye-catching perennial gardens that need little maintenance, and I will eventually leave only a few walkways that need to be mowed.

This is the ultimate in sustainability, as I will cultivate plants that need little attention while "sustaining" my body in my later years (we plan to live in this house a long time). The idea of having to mow these hundreds of square yards of lawn in my seventies does not appeal to me.

Heck - I am already losing my motivation to mow.


Debbie G said...

Amen Brother Michael! My goal for my yard too!

microdot said...

My brother in law, who lives in your very near vicinity took out a few nice trees because they were "illogically placed" for his lawn tractor mower.
Can I interest you in some cute little nains de jardin?

Mr. Puggle said...


kateb said...

That is really nice! I bought back yard design books over the last few years. But I've had teenager drama for about 5 years now. It's hard to see that there'll be a time when that calms down.

But when it does, I'll be ready. I want stone walkways and few sitting areas. Some grassy areas but mostly gardens. I think it'll look like a french sitting garden - but who knows.

When the time comes I'll ask you for your input. That is a very nice garden.

Anonymous said...

Keep it up Mike and your neighbor will start calling to complain about your zebra grass not being mowed and complaining about the weeds posing as flowers.

--Nikki Morey

microdot said...

Of course, as a reference tyo yyour earlier gardening/landscaping dillema: When is a weed a weed and should Ilet it live?

Forget lawnmowing, get your yard declared an urban "wild space".

" History Mikes Association for the Preservation of Urban Natural Flora"...
I am writing the song for the fund raising event, WEEDSTOCK!

"We are the weeds, so please don't mow us....
We are the cute little plants who want to take over the world...."

With the right approach, marketing and PR, you could get federal funding, donations for a new hammock and lawn furniture set and most of all: