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Do you have a patch of lawn in your garden? It can be a cumbersome task to keep a grassy area green and healthy, not to mention weed-free. To keep it this way often means applications of “weed and feed” fertilizers that feed the grass while killing the weeds. These are marginally effective, but the chemicals contained within aren’t what I want to use in my back garden – not with my kids and animals using the grassy area. So, I have made peace with the weeds in my lawn with surprising results.

My backyard is relatively large and divided into three sections with the largest area taken up with a bermudagrass lawn area where my kids enjoy playing. My desert tortoise, Aesop, can often be found munching on the grass throughout the summer months and I like the cooling effect and beauty that it adds. I do have plans to replace my lawn in a year or two, but for now, it fills our needs. 

This lawn is 19 years old, and as a result, there are weeds growing within it. Wind spreads weed seed, and if you have a grassy area, it is just a matter of time before you see weeds coming up.

Now, when I say that I have weeds growing in my grass, I’m not talking about just a few here and there…

In fact, you have to look very closely to spot any bermudagrass in this area, which is filled with bright green clover and some nutsedge growing above it. I must admit to being extremely frustrated at the sheer amount of weeds growing in my lawn, but something happened last year, which enabled me to make peace with these unwanted weeds.

We hosted a small wedding in our backyard last summer, and a lot of preparation went into having the garden looking its best. While I initially lamented the fact that weeds were growing in the lawn, I was surprised to see how pretty and green it looked. A few weeks after the wedding, as I looked at the wedding photos, I was struck by how healthy and beautiful the lawn looked. 

I realize your focus may be on how pretty the bride is, but look at how good my grass looks 😉

 

My granddaughter and grandson – I couldn’t resist sharing this photo of them!

After the wedding was over and I had some time to reflect, I realized that my lawn looked great as it had the most important qualities that I wanted – lush green color, no bare spots, and healthy.

And so, I am now free to enjoy my lawn, and I am no longer upset over the weeds present. The key to keep it looking great and not bring attention to any weeds is to keep it regularly mowed. My teenage son mows ours weekly, and we fertilize it in spring and again in fall. At this point, I don’t know how much longer we will keep our lawn as I have a couple of ideas for this area instead, but in the meantime, I will enjoy the lush green of my backyard grass – weeds and all.

How about you? Have you interested in making peace with the weeds in your lawn?

 

Last week, was a busy one for me.  I had several appointments scheduled and then I got the ‘mother’ of all colds.  


I don’t get sick colds very often. So, that is probably why when I do get them every few years – I get a really severe one.  

My constant companions the past week.
I am finally among the living after a week of fighting through all that this cold could throw at me and I feel weak and drained – BUT, I can now walk through the house without carrying a box of tissues.  *Being able to breathe through your nose is so delightful when it has been stopped up for a week (cold medicine just doesn’t seem to work all that well for me).

Despite this terrible cold, I was able to make it through my appointments although I prayed that my nose wouldn’t start dripping in front of my clients.  Whenever I started to feel weak or faint, I would come up with an excuse to sit for a minute or two by saying, “Let’s sit for a minute and see what the view of the landscape looks like from this perspective.”

I promise that I used a lot of hand-sanitizer before shaking hands with everyone 😉

Alright, enough complaining about my cold.  I am excited to show you my latest project.


Okay, I admit that it doesn’t look too exciting right now.

As you can see, the project is on a golf course.  This particular course is removing 50 acres of turf and planting drought-tolerant landscapes in their place in their attempt to save water.

The area pictured above, is just one of many that I will be working on throughout the summer.

As part of the turf removal, the golf course will be re-designing its entire irrigation system. (It hasn’t happened yet in this area, which is why it is wet.)


Along the entire length of this area, will run a river-rock lined wash, which will help to channel storm water.

I have been working on a plant palette that includes native, drought-tolerant succulents, shrubs and groundcovers that will require minimal water once established.

Railroad ties, that separate homeowner properties will be removed to visually help the transition toward the golf course landscape.  To that end, I will include a few of the same plants already present in the adjoining properties to create the illusion of a seamless landscape.

The goal is to create a beautiful landscape area that has minimal water and maintenance requirements.  To say that I am excited about working on this project, is an understatement.

Interestingly, my first job out of college was working as a horticulturist for a golf course.  Although I had unlimited opportunities to golf for free – I never did.  Other then indulging in an occasional round of miniature golf – I don’t golf at all.

I may not golf or completely understand the passion for the game – I have come to know the unique challenges that landscaping around golf courses entail – overspray from sprinklers, carts driving through landscape areas when they aren’t allowed, knowing what plants to use in areas that are in play, etc.

Next time, I will share with the plant palette of drought-tolerant, natives that will be used in these areas.  Who knows?  You may be inspired to use some of these plants in your own landscape!



I am so glad that September is finally here!


Oh, I realize that it is still hot, but if you look carefully, there are signs that summer is beginning to wane.  The days are becoming shorter and you can see lengthening shadows at days end.


Fall is a busy time in the garden if you live in the desert Southwest, because that is the best time to add new plants to the garden.


Are you wondering what to do in your garden this month?  Here is my latest garden article from Houzz.com

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What are your plans for the garden this month?


**There is still time to enter the giveaway for a fabulous book, “Gardening for the Birds: How to Create a Bird-Friendly Backyard”.


I’ll announce the winner tomorrow!