Last summer, I was in a bit of a snit because my lawn wasn't green enough. That's right, even with the smoke from forest fires hanging heavy over the town, and the reservoir being steadily depleted to fight those fires, I still wanted a green lawn. The kind everyone had when I was a kid: a plush, green rectangle with a sidewalk down the middle (like this one, which is SO not my lawn).
The problem (according to me) is that my husband, in his endearing stubbornness, has refused since day one to put in a sprinkler system, and that means schlepping garden hoses around. Garden hoses are my nemesis. I hate them. (And before you try to convert me, I refuse to fall for the marketing ploy that is the "as-seen-on-TV-pocket-hose," because I know even that Muppety-sea worm-looking thing will try ruin my life.)
So the perfect lawn eluded me.
This summer, I'm a changed woman. The tragic losses of life and property we've seen across the region have made it extremely clear that fire (too much of it) and water (not enough of it) are going to shape life here in the west for many years to come. The vanity of perfectly green lawns in a climate like ours has become ridiculous.
Instead of envying the neighbors' lawns that are Land-of-Oz-green, I wonder why they bother. Back yards, okay, for kids and dogs. Front yards, however...with the exception of mowing, my neighbors never spend any time on them. And I can imagine what their water bills are like. The lawns I now envy are the ones that are shrinking, with grass being steadily replaced by rock and drought-loving xeriscape plants.
As for our front lawn, I have plans for downsizing it someday soon. For now, we're maintaining it in a state of near-death by watering just enough to keep things greenish-brown and moderately crunchy. It's not great for bare feet, but that's what flip-flops are for, right?