Green Grass Blues

  • Post published:July 15, 2015

10487543_10152122043336582_3672684347819051410_nThey tell me grass is greener on the other side. Leaving aside the question of who “they” are, the motion before us is “The Grass is Greener on the Other Side”. I propose now to review this from both sides of the keyboard. Yes, there is another side, the dark side that

kicks in when poetry floods the RAM and chokes out the emotions and then there is this one, the one you normally see, the one I normally let you see.ย Excuse me, while I sip my water and wipe my tears. It’s these allergies.

There are always, at least, 2 sides to every piece of paper. If you fold the paper into a cube you have 12 sides in all. What that analogy tells us is that there are many ways to skin the cat. I do understand why anyone would want to skin a cat. I’ve often wanted to do so myself, notably when I was solving the Case of the Cantankerous Cat.

Readest thou the tale and weepest thou with laughter? Shame on you! It wasn’t funny then, I can tell you….

Back to the grass then. About 5 years ago we rebuilt the deck in our backyard. The small builders deck was just a landing for a staircase leading down to a flat deck about 4 inches off the grass. If you wanted to have a coffee or dinner outside you had to carry everything down the stairs and then carry it all back up again when done. As you rightly muttered to yourself, A Complete Pain in the Ass. So we tore everything up and built a large deck big enough to hold a table, 6 chairs, a bbq grille etc. Now we just step out of the kitchen and can sit out at the same level. Fantastic, no?

Not quite. The story does not end there. None of my stories actually end just like that. In this case there isn’t even a story, uh, no that’s not quite correct. There is a mystery to solve. Hang on and let me get on with the rest of it.

Well, the idea was for the contractor to come back and do some landscaping, lawn repair etc. Well, he didn’t come and I was lax in my duties as householder. Consequently, the backyard “grass” went into a state of shock after all those feet and lumber had trampled, slipped into a deep comatose state and expired. So Exhibit A: Backyard with Weeds.

As you may have gathered, the back yard is considerably lower than the front. On both sides of the house, the grass slopes away sharply. This makes a 150lb weakling like me with 2 half-lungs, asthma and allergies struggle a wee bit while cutting the grass on the sides. Net result? Exhibit B: Sloping Sides with Weeds.

Two years ago, I got a landscaper in to widen our driveway, the steps leading up the front porch and in a moment of great relief paved one side of the house completely with a stone walkway edged with river rock. Why not the other side also, you ask? There are two basic reasons. 1. I’m a cheapskate with fluctuating income levels 2. there is an easement on the property that runs along the other side and I know that the day after the stone pathway is laid Hydro One will be coming along to dig it up. So, Exhibit B is now halved.

Contrasts. Mine ( right ) His ( left )

With the deck, the stone walkway around the deck, stone edging on either side and a 2 foot wide “flower” bed along the back fence, the re-sodded grass at the back is considerably less than it used to be. What we have now is an L shaped area of grass where one arm of the L runs down the side of the house, goes past a wooden gate and tries to meet the grass on the front. So far so good. But the deck dwarfs the back, the neighbour at the back has tall maple trees that shed leaves and cast shadows over my grass and the backyard faces south so there is no sun in the evening. The 2 strips of l-shaped grass are narrow no wider than 5-6 feet.

The shape and the dimensions make watering and mowing a pain. I know I will eventually have to work out a mathematical model to arrive at the optimum solution for watering and mowing. But as you see in the picture above I’ve tried a number of different sprinklers. The 2 yellow ones and the grey one can be adjusted to various sprinkler shapes, all of which water everything but the grass. And if you wish to change the shape of output you have to put on your swimming costume first or trek over to shut the water off and try again. Very tiring.ย  The little butterfly shaped one creates a round spray that does not work on narrow rectangles. About the only one that sort of works without wetting the neighbours wife sitting in her backyard, sipping wine of an evening, is the Orbit, the thin green one. Or the the handheld pistol grip one, which is tiring.

My grass is the one further away in the picture. The lighter green…. ๐Ÿ™‚

Consequently, my grass is drought-stricken. The issue at the front is less acute, but even there as you can see, the grass on my neighbour’s side is greener. I dare not show pictures of my backyard.

It is true folks, the grass is greener on the other side.

< I realize that I did not actually debate the other side of the motion, but the data is so overwhelming, that there is no other side… unless you can think of something. In which case, please do write in and tell me about it. Please. )

Comments are Free, so go ahead!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

This Post Has 0 Comments

  1. A.PROMPTreply

    We have exactly the opposite problem here with a natural spring running through the backyard. When it rains, we have a home with a small pond! Still your deck sounds very practical and with small steps like that here and there, I’m sure one day you’ll have the yard of your dreams!

    1. TheLastWord

      Lucky you! Does the spring ever flood over? Is there a possibility?

      1. A.PROMPTreply

        I have no idea……hasn’t yet…other than the pond…

        1. TheLastWord

          So you have a stream AND a pond? Nice! Sounds like the backyard I should have, not the one I do have.. ๐Ÿ™‚

          1. A.PROMPTreply

            We only have that when it rains……and we don’t see it as a positive, just something to work around……

            1. TheLastWord

              I’d love a river running through my back yard. I’ve always wanted to say ” a river runs through it”, so far I haven’t had an occasion. ๐Ÿ™‚

              1. A.PROMPTreply

                Hah. Well, perhaps if you started your landscaping by digging a trench and then digging a bit further each year……

                1. TheLastWord

                  hmm – it would be a pretty short ‘river’…. and shallow!

  2. thisandthatdad

    What kind of water pressure do you have? Have you had it measured?

    1. TheLastWord

      I don’t think it’s the water pressure. It’s the man who owns the house and his laziness and ineptitude ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. thisandthatdad

        Ha! If you have decent pressure you could take the sprinkler off that stake mounted one. It should have a 1/2″ opening. Get a 1/2″ riser or nipple and thread on a pop-up spray from Rain Bird. These are meant to go in-ground and pop up, but they don’t have to. If you have decent water pressure you can use them just like a regular sprinkler above ground. They have “center strip” and “side strip” patterns. This center strip sprays a rectangle shape of either 3ft x 20ft or 4ft x 30ft. Hope that helps.

        1. TheLastWord

          oohh – Shall look those up, for sure. Thank you very much, thisandthatdad! The pressure definitely seems fine to me.

          1. thisandthatdad

            When they are used underground it is for areas between the sidewalk and the road. Should work pretty good for what you need to do. They also have a square patterned one that sprays a 4ft x 4ft area as well. Good luck!

  3. NancyTex

    Rip out the grass at the side of the house and just throw river rock and some scattered flag stones. That way if Hydro One needs to get in, they’re just pushing river rock out of the way and not upsetting a big interlocking job.

    You’re welcome. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. TheLastWord

      Hmm – there is quite a slant there. I’ve been toying with just such an idea.

      and thanks!

      1. NancyTex

        Or even pea gravel, depending on the degree of slope.

        1. TheLastWord

          I was thinking of building up steps with those sleeper logs and filling the inside with the river rock. That should neutralize the slope and make it walkable. Don’t fancy walking down the slope over river rock or pea gravel…

          1. NancyTex

            Yep, that would work. I was thinking slabs of floating flagstone as the part you’d actually step on, with the pea gravel or river rock as decorative.

            1. TheLastWord

              ah, I see, yes you’re quite right.

              1. NancyTex

                As I tell my husband and my minions at work, if you’d just assume I’m right, we’d save SO much time. ๐Ÿ˜‰

                1. TheLastWord

                  hey! I say that all the time ( to everyone )

    1. TheLastWord

      Is there a “Save our Culture Save our Shamisen” petition I can sign?

      1. ladyofthecakes

        There probably is… according to Google Translate, you need to search for this: ็งใŸใกใฎๆ–‡ๅŒ–ใฏ็งใŸใกใฎไธ‰ๅ‘ณ็ทšไฟๅญ˜ไฟๅญ˜
        Good luck ๐Ÿ™‚

        1. TheLastWord

          Alrighty then! I totally got that.. what did you use to search, one wonders…

            1. TheLastWord

              Watashitachi no shamisen o hozon watashitachi no bunka o hozon

              so after extrapolating, culture would be a lot of bunka?