I was alone in my defence of lawn during my Permaculture Certificate III course, but I stand by it. Staunch permaculturalists see lawn as a water guzzling, unsustainable, environmentally detrimental, useless waste of good growing space and on many of these points I must agree. However, lawn has its benefits and none are so important as when you have little kids. It’s where we play chasey, kick a footy, cuddle and wrestle, eat lunch and morning/afternoon tea, soak up the sun, play totem tennis, wash the dog (occasionally). It absorbs heat and I find it calming and attractive. That said, I think large swathes of lawn, especially if it’s unused, is a complete waste of space and water. Lawn will never be the hero of my garden but it does have its place.
And so last weekend we laid 32sqm lawn at our current house as part of our improvements and preparations for its rental. It was the last job left to complete the new garden area. My sister, Kathy, ordered a massive amount of Sir Walter soft buffalo for her place and got such a good price ($9.50/sqm) that we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to add to her order. So suddenly we had some work to do! We removed about 10cm worth of clay soil using elbow grease, shovels and wheelbarrows (why am I paying for a gym membership?) Then we bought in a trailer and a half of landscape mix, spread it out, levelled it, rolled out the lawn, filled all the holes and seams, used a 44 gallon drum half-filled with chook feed as a makeshift roller, watered it in and we were done. Man, DIY takes a long time! But it looks awesome…and Zen is a happy dog.