Sunday, April 12, 2015

More lawn removal

Here's an ariel shot of the domestic end of our homestead -- our house and yard. Our acreage is off to the left side of this photo and can't be seen in it, but it's there, just down the hill beyond those trees.

If you see the highlighted areas in the image, that represents the second portion of lawn we will be killing and getting rid of this summer, as part of our back yard renovation plan. As you can see, the front yard has already had its lawn removed and drought-tolerant landscaping has been put in.

So if we took out half the lawn in putting in our front yard landscaping, raised beds, and chicken coop/run on the right side of the house, this new project will remove about half of the half that's left. Meaning in three years, we've taken out 75 percent of our water sucking, useless, non-edible lawn, which should bring us to a point of well exceeding the State's mandate that we reduce usage by 25 percent, due to the current drought.  

I'd love to take out even more, but we are leaving a bit of lawn on the back and side of the house, first because we can't landscape over our septic tank, and second because we plan on having a fire pit and want to be able to apply the sprinklers to it if it's ever necessary, since it's rather close to the house.

So I'm already excited, dreaming of what's going to go onto those highlighted areas -- more Spanish lavender, more red hot pokers, and more ceanothus, plus some other natives I've been wanting to try -- including milkweed, main food for the lovely Monarch Butterflies that live around here part of the year. Plus a larger patio area for entertaining. Who says water conservation can't be beautiful?

And the best part is that easiest phase of the project comes  first: shutting off the water in those zones, sitting back and letting the summer sun bake the unwanted portions of lawn into dead, yellow straw, which we can then just landscape over. 

And then the creative planning and real physical work begins, probably next winter.

All part of moving things forward in a (very) dry land.


  1. Good for you taking swift action. Your property will be an arid paradise! All that lavender on the hillside will be spectacular and I'm sure bees and other wildlife will love you for it. I'm deep in lawn repair now and am troubled by the opposite problem. My grass seed keeps being swept away by rain!

    1. What I wouldn't give to have THAT problem lol! Yes, we are lucky that we live in a mediterranean climate so we don't have to look like Arizona when we take out the lawn -- with cactus and gravel everywhere. We can still look relatively lush with greenery and color if we just choose non-thirsty plants which thrive here. I can't wait to get started! Good luck with your grass seed!

  2. I love how much thought you put into problem solving. I agree with Stephen that it will be an arid paradise. I'm looking forward to seeing the progress.

    And who knows - maybe there will be a shift in the weather pattern and some of our excess rain will find its way west. We can only hope.

    1. That would be amazing, Molly! We always hope for a "March Miracle" here, where we suddenly get an incredibly wet spring. Haven't seen it happen in about 18 years though. I still say we just need a big pipeline to bring all the excess you get west to us! If they can do it for oil, why not water? : )