My lawn sucks. It contains roughly four different types of grasses, three types of clover, occasional thistles and the sporadic WTFITP (What The Fuck Is This Plant).
This exists on a very uneven bed of clay-like uninhabitable, snail, slug and ant-infested anti-garden. Parts of the yard are baked in full sun. Part forms its own boggy swimming pool after any amount of rain. It’s nearly all exposed to very hot sun as well as to frost. And I have no idea what I’m doing.
It is my dream that one day I will have an even, luscious, soft and spongy, glorious carpet of Sir Walter to gaze upon, picnic on, chase my children and dog around on and tend with all the knowledge and skill of the mighty Lawn Samurai. I will perch atop the corner of my pergola, coiled with sword ready, primed to cut down any wayward child or weed that dare poke its head out from the blades of my perfect, pretty meadow.
Just as the teenager dreams their dreams of being a rich social media celebrity, this might prove a lofty goal, particularly where the B-word (budget) is concerned. So for the moment I’m chipping away at what problems I can in the moments I can escape my illustrious career as a stay at home mum of two kids under four. It can be hard to dedicate the required time to the botanical martial arts whilst being a career parent, but we must learn to celebrate our achievements rather than bewail our losses.
Or at least that’s what I tell myself when I’m not growling obscenities while on my hands and knees clawing at clover.
So during spring I launched my first assault on the various evil interlopers on my block. Chemical warfare seemed the only viable option, so I’ve been using one of those Yates plug into hose and spray the lawn – types of treatment which has had varying levels of success. The WTFITP shown in the top picture died off quite quickly and I consider it a temporary victory. The clover however has had mixed results.
Clover type 1 (not the official name At All), the type with big leaves, the occasional four-leaf-mutant and those fluffy white flower things that spring up, squatting on your lawn in wait for your toddler to snatch it up and demand you smell the beautiful flower and keep it forever. This type apparently never really goes away, but it has reduced to the point where at least it seems less thick on my lawn than my neighbour’s. (Lawns aren’t a competition, but if they were I’d be winning. Suck it, baldy dude and your teenager with obnoxiously loud RnB).
Clover type 2. This bastard creeping tiny thing with tiny yellow flowers plays dead after being sprayed, long enough for you to turn your attention somewhere else. It mats so closely together that there is a perfect bare patch in the grass left behind for it to spring back up as if you never touched it, going all “Ner ner nee ner nerr!” at you in tiny defiance.
Clover type 3. I call this type of the “Fucking mutant bastard clover of death”. This clover looks a lot like type 1 clover, except that it has these pea-sized burr things with needles all over them, which once dry will go a good distance into your foot. Some people tell me this is bindi. I’ve always understood bindi to be something entirely different and I’ve heard a lot of contradictory opinions, but the point is that it is an evil presence that must be eradicated if I have to set the fucking lawn on fire. Fortunately, it turned out that this one responds reasonably well to the treatment I’ve been using and combined with some profanity-laden incantations I seem to have banished the weed temporarily.
All in all, the lawn is in a better state from where I started I suppose, and much better than it might have been, so that’s a start even if it’s not going backwards. At some point I will pay someone to level out bits so that water flows where it should and I might be able to plan my garden better. But for now this young grasshopper has a white belt, with a yellow tip.