Day 219: Volume-test your neighbors.

This is not see how loud your neighbors are day, but see how loud your neighbors will tolerate you being day. It’s a task that’s easy enough to do in an apartment, but difficult to do in a house—I’m not sure I have the means to produce enough noise to attract the attention/ire of my neighbors. I suppose I could fire the shotgun in the house a few times—but that would then require some sheetrock repair and repainting, and I don’t want to do any of that.

As it happens, however, I am testing the patience of my neighbors in a different way: I haven’t mown my lawn since … hrrmm, last October? Now, normally one doesn’t have to mow over the winter, but we’ve had a mild one here in north Texas, and my yard is flourishing. Why is my yard flourishing? I don’t water, I don’t fertilize, I don’t rake up the leaves, I don’t pamper the grass in any way—I don’t even mow that often, though probably the grass appreciates not being maimed every few weeks.

As an aside: people who water and fertilize and pamper their yards, and then mow and trim and manicure them like putting greens? They’re totally communists. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Think about it: any patch of grass that makes better use of the available resources is cut down to size, kept at the same level as the lazier grass.

I take a laissez-faire approach to my yard, which is why it flourishes even over the winter: it’s full of plants that are adapted to this climate, that can handle rainless periods without being sprinklered and fertilized; it’s full of plants that make efficient use of the soil and water that they have; it’s full, in short, of plants that are commonly called weeds.

I introduced some mint last summer—transplants—and enough of the plants took hold that I think it will take over the section of the yard it’s in: mint juleps and mojitos all summer! I may try to introduce some other perennial herbs: some sage, maybe? I think I’m going to try and grow some vegetables, but not in any systematic way: I’m going to scatter seeds of various sorts willy-nilly in the yard, and see what happens.

Whatever happens, though, my yard is going to remain a wild assortment of opportunistic plants, and I’m going to push the limits of an ultra-low-maintenance yard as far as I can. So far, none of my neighbors have complained—at least not to me—but this year, I’m cranking up the bass to 11. We’ll see what happens.

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One Comment on “Day 219: Volume-test your neighbors.”

  1. This is from Chris’s mom who no longer has grass but has a tidy (some might say quite nice) yard. Chris’s yard makes my head hurt. If he lived next door to me I’d be very unhappy. That said, I do love the boy and can sort of understand where he’s coming from.

    But weeds and grasses that go to seed that blow will make a for cranky neighbors. And Sherman will cite you if stuff gets over 12″ tall. So, son, cranking it up may actually stimulate a response from your neighbors – at least the ones who mow.


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