More than a year and a half after moving in, we’re finally nearing the end of the backyard project: we’re putting in the lawn!
Most lawns out here are bermuda grass in the summer, overseeded with rye in the winter, which makes for a nice grass lawn but takes a lot of effort (and water) to maintain. So since we had a blank slate to work with, I wanted to try something different, and I’ve been researching the question for the past year or so. Most lawn alternatives aren’t quite hardy enough for the summers here, but I ended up choosing a miniature clover variety, interspersed with Herniaria glabra and Roman chamomile (and wildflowers for fun, in hopes of butterflies).
The exciting part for the kids, of course, was spreading compost out over the native soil (which seems like clay to me, though it once supported cotton fields). When you’re little, rolling around is soft dirt is pretty awesome, especially when the air is cool and the soil is warm enough to steam up into the air.
And of course there’s jumping into the piles before they get raked down.
Not to mention running all over it, soft underfoot, warm against the chill of the morning, cold air rushing in your face and lungs:
Or digging in it, rolling around in it, burrowing into it, and just generally becoming covered in it!
You could even help spread it out, if you were feeling so inclined.
It was definitely an adventure getting them all cleaned up afterwards, but the happiness of getting dirty was more than worth it. They lasted almost two hours before wanting to come in and eat breakfast, and went out again later in the morning! Now, while we’re waiting for the seeds to germinate, they are pretending it’s all lava and creeping around the completed edges of the yard instead 🙂 And I’m just waiting to see if all the effort pays off and green can come out of all that brown.