Who likes to get outside in the heat of summer to mow a fast growing lawn when temperatures drain your energy? That means cranking up the gas powered mower, which contributes to carbon emissions and global warming (not to mention the expense of buying, running, and maintaining it).
The paradigm that every yard (or garden as the entire yard is referred to in England) must have a lawn of finely mowed green grass to match all your neighbors samo samo probably began long ago in the British culture. A house is not an acceptable neighborhood home without a nice green lawn, right?
Nope, not in my opinion. Reducing lawn area is a major contribution to reducing unnecessary water usage, chemical fertilizers and pest control substances that pollute ground and surface water sources, etc. This is a major principle and component of xeriscaping.
Unfortunately, our community covenants requires a small percentage of front area to be turf (25%), but we experimented and chose Palisades Zoysia as the most attractive, durable, drought tolerant alternative to comply, and it has not disappointed.
Aside from that, there is the back yard, which in most cases is also lawn turfed. Here is where xeriscaping really pays off. We have incorporated a small grass patch of Palisades Zoysia for aesthetic and design purposes only, to provide textural contrast to the rest of the yard which is adorned by mother nature’s native and adaptive plants, (which also attracts lots of wildlife for our viewing pleasure}.
But getting back to my initial point, WARNING: FACITIOUSNESS AHEAD. I just totally exhausted myself mowing our back lawn (grass patch) of 100 sq. ft. using a push mower with the added benefit of providing needed exercise. It took a whole 15 minutes including edging, So, I can have my tiny lawn and enjoy it as well without harming the environment, saving water, and much less wear and tear on this old gardener!
I feel so nostalgic, like going back to the future, when I mow our tiny lawn area with this push mower. I made my first dollar mowing lawns with one like this for $2.50 a yard when I was youngster.
So, bottom line: Xeriscaping makes sense in every sense of the word. Let’s use that common sense, simplify our lives and help sustain our beautiful planet. Sometimes the best way is to go backward.