carolf (carolf) wrote,

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The Anti-Lawn


It is not possible for me to mow a lawn.  Well, not impossible, but certainly unwise.  I am allergic to grass clippings.  When I had my 1/5 of an acre lot to tend before my marriage, it would take me an entire weekend, starting after work on Friday, for me to mow my lawn.  For every 10 minutes of mowing time, I would spend 30 minutes recovering from the asthma attack.  I quickly decided to afford a lawn care contractor.

In Chicago, there are lots and lots of entrepreneurial lawn maintenance companies with immigrant (read: cheap) labor.  Not so much in SE Michigan.  So, lawn care falls to Husband.

Husband hates mowing grass.  And, as is true with most human beings and most certainly true of most husbands, he can be remarkably unable to do that which he hates doing.   For Havoc House, we finally broke down and hired help, which is more expensive for less service than I had in Chicago, but much better than the nothing we were doing for ourselves.  We can (just) manage that with our 1 acre lot.  But 25 acres?

So, in designing our new house, I promised Husband there would be no need for mowing.  Since most of our landscaping is woods, this seemed an easy promise to make.  What non-wooded area we have around the house is destined to be garden beds and pathways.  Still, there are two areas of ... well, that's the question.  If not grass, what?

I'm doing a lot of research into ground covers as alternatives to grass.  Creeping thyme, clover, mondo grass ... 

So, all you established gardeners out there -- what do you suggest as a walkable, drought-resistant, non-mowing, low-maintenance ground cover to replace a lawn in zone 5?  (We might be in a little pocket of zone 6, but I can't guarantee it.)

Tags: gardening, home construction, landscape

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