How I ameliorate my feelings of guilt about my green lawn:
I live in Utah, and I am concerned about my water usage. This is an arid place, and we had very little snowpack this year.
Our lawn is not in great shape. It pitches and rolls. In some areas, there is more clover than grass (does clover use less or more water, I wonder?), but it is consistently green. This is a huge accomplishment for a lawn that used to be an asphalt parking lot and still has the stuff lurking beneath its surface in places.
We had to work hard to make it so. We spent the early summer repairing the sprinkler system. In an ambitious attempt to address all the leaks, we dug through one boggy patch to discover not a leak in the irrigation pipe, but a slow, persistent leak in our water main that been there for at least three years.
We’ve begun taking out grass. We planted fruit trees throughout our back yard so that watering the lawn waters something fruitful and productive. We cut out grass for tree skirts, expanded our garden, and planted sunflowers and raspberries. We have hardy herbs growing in our flower beds around the house and at the sidewalk, the deep mulch punctuated by local rock. We’ve started incorporating native plants into the beds, a slow process as my husband has been propagating them himself.
But even as we’re trying to reduce our grassy footprint, I still feel the need to water and care for what we do have. In the same talk where President Kimball told us to plant fruit trees and vines, he also told us to
Keep in good repair and beautify your homes, your yards, farms, and businesses. Repair the fences. Clean up and paint where needed. Keep your lawns and your gardens well-groomed. Whatever your circumstance, let your premises reflect orderliness, beauty, and happiness. Plan well and carry out your plan in an orderly and systematic manner. [fn1]
At some point we still want to install a water permeable patio, although that project was somewhat delayed by the water main situation. Maybe we’ll get it in this fall.
We have a plan, but it’s a slow process that takes a lot of time, money, and work. It’s teaching me patience as I watch my grass grow.