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Opinion >  Column

Front Porch: Thrilled to watch the green, green grass of home

UPDATED: Thu., Sept. 3, 2020

By Stefanie Pettit For The Spokesman-Review

I am watching the grass grow. Literally.

About this time each year I usually write something about my garden – a new flower, how the tomatoes are doing or what the deer have found particularly tasty this year – but in 2020, the year of COVID-19, it really is about watching the grass grow.

As I have said before, I came to this green thumb thing rather late in life and am continuously surprising myself at how much I’m liking it. Who knew?

Latest chapter … I’ve been paying attention to how the lawn in front of our house has been deteriorating in recent seasons. Yes, we weed and feed and water. And yes, it’s green, but full of gawd-awful weeds and who knows what. Last summer we had a weed guy give us some advice, which turned out to be that the lawn wasn’t really salvageable. A landscape guy told us how to proceed from there.

In addition, our sprinkler system had blown up, so that would have to be tended to as well.

We killed out the lawn in the fall. In early spring, we again killed out any weeds that regenerated, and were all set for the landscaper to come in and lay sod in May, right after he repaired the sprinkler system.

But before that could happen, the new coronavirus had shut everything down.

Because I had already planted geraniums, salvia and sunpatiens out front, in anticipation of everything being up and working, I had to hand- and spot-water the blooming things. Surely, a minor inconvenience in light of how COVID-19 was ravaging the nation, but still something for me to deal with.

Unfortunately, the landscaper began being harder to get hold of. Phone calls not returned. Things promised but not delivered. And finally, silence. I hope he didn’t lose his company. But there I was in July, looking for a new guy.

Meantime, I had potted, as usual, the assorted plants and flowers and tomatoes I keep on my back deck, up and away from the deer. These I always water using a hose connected to a water source below the deck. I’m happy to report that I have a new dahlia variety doing well this year, plus the little succulent cuttings I brought home a year ago from the yard of my friend in California are also coming along nicely out there.

With a good recommendation, I found another landscaper, but he was backlogged with his regular customers, so I had to wait. It didn’t look like I’d get a lawn in until the end of summer. He could (and did) fix the sprinkler system sooner, but I didn’t want to turn it on just for border flowers, so I continued grumpily hand watering.

Then one of his customers canceled a scheduled job, and we were able to get our new lawn on Aug. 3. Oh, happy day. Sprinkler system engaged and adjusted a couple of times, and a Kentucky blue grass lawn abounds out front. We’re still in the heavy watering phase as the grass is putting out roots, but it is such a delight to see.

I know there’s criticism of lawns in general, which I’ll gladly engage another day, but today, I am so happy just to watch my grass grow. And to tend my garden.

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