"It's costly to take care of something that doesn't give back..."
Never have truer words been spoken.
Look at that lawn. We don't fertilize it at all. And still it grows. Now I like some lawn in the yard. It's nice to walk around barefoot in the summer and feel the grass between your toes. And of course it's handy to have for the dogs to do their business in but we've got way too much of it. I even have a $1200 riding lawn mower dedicated just to that patch of green stuff. (Not to mention the $3.79 a gallon gas I need to pour into it in order to make it run.) Nope. If I didn't live in a subdivision I wouldn't have a lawn at all. Or not much of one. So what can I do to now to minimize the yard I have and still keep the neighbors happy?
The backyard isn't a problem. It's funny that front yards are open to public evaluation and even ridicule but the backyard? Do what you want. Out of sight, out of mind. Sheds, pools, kids swing sets, grills...to each his own.
Our backyard borders the backyards of three other houses. The home owner directly behind us has a privacy row of cedars that I just love. (We'll see how much I love them when my apples are diseased with cedar rust spot but I digress.)
The neighbors on our right installed a pool last year. They graded their lawn to guide the water away from their house and pool and guess where it ends up? Yep. We now have an area around the shed that has standing water. (I might be able to grow rice there during the rainy season...@;) The grass will grow but not very well so I plan on turning that whole area into a natural area with wood chip mulch and flowers/ shrubs/ trees etc. (*Side note: I had originally wanted the veggie garden over on that side of the yard. SM pushed for where the garden is now. Good thing I listened to him!)
On the side where the veggie patch is are our neighbors that we never see. Ever. They run from car to house so quickly that we're not sure just who lives there. But we do know that they don't spend any time outside so their yard is looking a bit poorly. The porch is starting to fall apart. They let the grass grow to about 4' high before hiring a lawn service to come in and mow. KiKi found a hole in their fence and is now wandering over there no doubt doing "kitty business" under their porch.
The garden is expanding again this year so some of this luscious green stuff will be gobbled up to make way for the green stuff we can eat. So the backyard isn't the problem.
The front yard is.
I really don't see anyway around it. I'll have to have some kind of a lawn patch. Now we don't have an HOA here so if my lawn is filled with weeds and dandelions I don't get any push back. But there is a bit of psychological pressure when the yards beside you are artificially green and lush in March (...just you wait till the Summer burn out). Still it's money up in smoke...(more like gas fumes I suppose.)
First things first though. The backyard and garden are my top priorities. The money goes there first. But it is nice to start thinking about a Xeriscape front yard. Someday.
Little nibbles, Tami.