Wednesday, August 10, 2016

In Praise of Lawns, Bumper Crops and Notes from a Happy Summer

"Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer's day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time."
~ John Lubbock

A fave portrait of Reno
I believe politics should end at the lawn's edge. There are too many "thou shalt not" and not enough stirs of creativity. A lawn is not a necessity. It is a luxury. One we are willing to pay dearly for because it supports mental well-being in the way gravel never will. 

A real lawn lowers the ambient temperature. Something your toes know right away as they guide your path on a hot summer day to green over pavement. The bunnies hop on-up from the parched canyon to eat their greens (aka our lawn). The hummingbirds hover inches above the grass to grab protein snacks. 

This  is not to say gravel doesn't have its place: but I'm sure glad when our sons were learning to golf, the through-motion divots were carved through grass, not gravel. 

Newly planted Red Carpet Roses
Anthony Tesselaar Plants kindly sent some carpet roses to field test. What's hotter than a hell-strip? An elevated hell-strip, like in the hanging clay pots hung from the same post as our freshly-repainted mailbox. Not even succulents like summers in this location. Mother nature cranked up the temp into the devil- wants- his- climate- back range- and these freshly planted slips just said "bring it on."

While some people are aghast at women wearing fur coats, I'm more likely to be angered at the cost of furry- freeloaders who disagree that their "fair share" of crops should be capped at around 30%.  

With topography more similar to where mountain goats climb than an Iowa field, the space appropriate for a food-garden is constrained. With the goal to load baskets with more ripened crops for our kitchen, the math requires the production per plant to climb like a jet fighter off a flight deck. Enter the fine folks at Greenview Lawn and Garden Products, purveyors of Natural Start Tomato, Vegetable and Herb Plant food.  As a member of GWA- The Association for Garden Communicators- the Pennsylvania company querried for interest to sample. 

Yahoo! Squash. Cucumber. An assortment of tomatoes and peppers. Enough abundance to  not just share with the local critters, my gasoline bill is significantly reduced because fresh produce is a quick walk out the back door. 

In our neck of the chaparral, Armstrong Garden Centers carries Greenview products. While the fertilizer can also be ordered off the Internet- I do enjoy the temptation and inspiration which comes from visiting a real nursery, don't you? 

At the end of the day, Tahoe and Reno somehow fit into the blanket- basket. Inspire us to put our feet up. Count our blessings. 

Does this cabinet look familiar? Back in the 1980's, when a television's girth matched a refrigerator's, there was a hole where there are now two extra drawers. Honey did a GREAT job remodeling the furniture to current needs. Matching the wood color of the new drawers to originals- I am in awe of my husband's endless talents. Now the television screen floats above the cabinet, making it less likely for one of us to block the view of an important play.

One morning, guess who appeared floating on the screen above the cabinet? Kenny. Our youngest son was in a fishing tournament covered by Angler Chronicals. He's shaken up the market with Bass Knuckles Clothing.  Every item that can be made in the USA, is. The story of the company's birth and success is a story for another day. 

Tahoe and Reno say good night. 

Until we meet again, Thank You for all YOU do to make the world more beautiful 



  1. LOVE LOVE the pictures of your dogs!!! And how exciting to see your son on TV!!! Thanks for sharing L!!! xoxo

  2. Good morning, Sue. The puppies say thank you- and can they have a treat):- Kenny's wife was also on TV recently. Her work (not to mention she is gorgeous) puts her in TV cameos when her clients do "behind the scenes" of them getting ready for programming.

  3. What a nice catch up on projects and contemplations around your place, Lydia!

    When we relandscaped years ago, we looked at minimizing the lawn mainly to accommodate more generous flower beds in our little suburban plot. And I'm so glad we didn't do away with it entirely. The eye needs a place to rest, too.

    Kudos to Gerry for a fantastic job on that cabinet. I would never have guessed that it once housed a television.

  4. Hi Nikki- I will pass your compliments to Gerry.

    The earthworms thank you for leaving some lawn. For years, watching the population grow under the grass was how I measured the soil's health. Could be why I've been tempted, but resistant to going gravel- which I do like for keeping weeds down on pathways.


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