I’m turning my back lawn into a mountain meadow.
It was never much of a lawn. Just a patch of buffalo grass walked down so hard the soil is compacted and impenetrable. In a downpour we have an infinity pool instead of a lawn, water cascading over the cliff edge.
It’s very pretty, unless you live at the bottom of the cliff.
In the past it’s occurred to me to turn it all into garden but one of my nephews is allergic to cats and so we had to keep the back lawn so we could pitch a tent when he came to visit. He slept out there instead of in the emergency ward at RPA hospital.
He’s living in Spain now so I can finally get rid of the lawn. The complicated web of Life.
Needless to say, I haven’t done the meadow thing properly. I was out the back cleaning Sydney mould off a Bakelite heirloom and noticed a currawong was eating the seeds off the stalks of my unmown lawn. Interesting.
We’ve always had lots of butterflies and birds and bees in our mostly organic garden and now I realised I could give them even more reasons to visit.
The internet of Things told me I should get rid of all the weeds in the lawn and add a layer of topsoil and do this and don’t do that. Maybe think about buying a horse and plough. What would the internet know? Although I did see photographs of magnificent meadows full of flowers and grasses, mostly in England. I was inspired and deluded.
Instead of doing things properly I wandered down to the local nursery and bought two packets of flower seeds. Bee and Butterfly and Cottage Mix. Instead of doing what it said on the packets I wet the lawn and sprinkled the seeds inexpertly over the grass. Then I wet the lawn again, cow bells and Julie Andrews ringing in my ears.
Some gardeners would think twice about planting seeds in Autumn, heading into Winter. Not me, because a) I didn’t plant them I just emptied the packets, and b) I’m more of a wilderness pioneer than a gardener.
A forensic examination of the lawn revealed there is already a good spread of clover among the buffalo grass, with delicate yellow flowers, and several nasturtiums grown wild from last year’s fallen seeds. I also found one of Robinson’s earrings.
Now I’m terribly impatient.
We’ll probably lose our magpies who like to strut around the lawn, listening for worms. According to the internet we will be compensated by the arrival of deer, black bears, Swiss cows and even more butterflies.
It was a bit annoying this morning when I saw the currawongs had stopped eating from the stalks of grass and were instead pecking up all the flower seeds I tipped out yesterday.
Life in a wilderness meadow is all balance and bastardry. I won’t put my old push mower on eBay just yet.