Like my little sunflower is conveying, I had a somewhat scrunched up, surprised look on my face because a passerby made a comment about my new front landscaping. And I did not have the time to spare for a lively discussion about the merits of grass.
For the past week, I have been planting perennials in my tiny front bed. All week, about thirty or so neighbors or visitors walked or drove by, stopped and complimented the front planting, oohing and ahhing of what it will become.
They have remarked on my color selection of blues, lavender, whites and pale pinks as well. I have been painstakingly nurturing these perennials all summer, until the beds were prepared and the perennials could be installed.
Well, what does the woman say, but, “Don’t you think you made a mistake by removing the grass and planting weedy plants, they are surely going to attract rats to the neighborhood?” She said this so sweetly, in her squeaky little voice.
I almost said, “Excuse me you insensitive, unknowing, little…”, but I refrained.
There is pincushion flower, Delphinium, Shasta Daisy, Veronica, and Asters in the front bed. WEEDS?
Granted, few were in flower until recently after the shock of being planted and suffering 90 degree temps for weeks.
They are all planted rather structured for now. If she thinks this is weedy wait until the third year. She will have a petition out and no longer harping sweetly. And I don’t even have a grass-free yard.
This lady reminds me of a neighbor, no longer with us and I mean that in the literal way (and no she was not assassinated), who would run the neighborhood like a military encampment. If she was displeased with something a neighbor did to their property, everyone else would hear of it. She would report on anyone who committed even the slightest infraction to those in charge, police or inspections department, whichever got the most action.
And this concerned lady today alleged I will bring RATS? If I could get rid of the feral cats I would be happy. My Nepeta Walker’s Low had to go, because cats could not ignore it.
She lamented the fact that I was reducing the amount of grass in the front yard and asked me if I might be in violation of an ordinance by the reduction of green space. She apparently does not know how to interpret the ordinance, because green space does not only mean grass.
Thinking, “who made you the grass police and wayward weed inspector” I explained how I am trying to eliminate mowing as much as I can. Not even touching on the green aspect of the issue. My other goal is the reduction of annuals.
These are the same perennials that she admired in my beautiful backyard garden during garden walk that she was now calling WEEDS because of their relocation to the front yard. She expressed that my yard will always have a weedy look because the plants I selected will not be in flower all season. I explained, through proper dead heading and maintenance practice, I picked perennials known to re-bloom or continue to bloom. For gosh sakes, I have five trees planted on my 5000 square foot lot alone and if you count the 14, nine-foot Emerald Green arborvitae as trees, I have 19. I have green space galore, just not much grass.
Grass is a touchy subject for many. Home owners, especially men, are proud of their emerald-green, weed free lawns. This woman acted as if I was committing grassicide by removing the sod. She felt I was in conflict with my neighbors by having more than half my property landscaped in plants other than grass. To each his own.
This morning I was in a fairly good mood until this lady had to interject her unfounded wisdom. Why is it people think they need to tell others what to do with their property just because they have a minute knowledge of ordinances and a holy admiration of grass. Armed with this information, they go around policing other neighborhoods.
I gave her a little of my own wisdom and off she went. Happy once again. Or at least until I spot her with a weed whacker and rat traps.