Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Study in Brown and Green

A perfect lawn is a pampered lawn; and pampered lawns, like pampered people, are apt to develop a number of tiresome diseases.

Beverley Nichols, "Garden Open Tomorrow", 1968

For months now, I have gazed at a brown landscape in my back garden. Our gardener Bernardo laid down a gorgeous new carpet of grass back in September and then day by day, Piero and I watched it slowly wither away. Who knows what the cause was; I'm a newcomer to horticulture and Bernardo never got beyond scratching his head and mumbling something in Spanish. Perhaps my aforementioned case of thumb noir infected him, too.

In photographs, I've resorted to trickery, avoiding the lawn entirely or waiting until sunlight blows it out of focus...

...or making sure something big and bulky obstructs the view. 

Two weeks ago, however, Bernardo reseeded the back lawn. With mounting palpitations, I have been waiting for a first exuberant glimpse of green.

Well, it's hatching. And I feel quite maternal about it.

I am going to spoil that baby grass, I am going to pamper it, I am going to cosset it, I am going to spoonfeed it. This time, I am making no mistakes. The trees have been trimmed, the sprinklers have been re-adjusted...

..and the toads have been put on high alert.
After all, isn't there so much more potential pleasure to be gained through perseverance, obstinacy and not giving up than to be handed a garden in perfect and constant bloom? 

That's what I tell myself, anyway.

12 comments:

Mrs. Blandings said...

I appreciate the trick photography and practice it quite often. I fear our back yard is nothing short of war zone.

Laura [What I Like] said...

Oh my, how exciting that you have baby grass! I feel quite confident about its chances.

mary said...

Oh, I promise you the thumb noir will be cured in SoCal.....you'll find the biggest problem in the garden is holding it BACK. I used to pray for snow just to have a rest.....I'm smiling just thinking of "gardening" .

Jeanne said...

I totally agree. Loving your house and your garden. Wish I had a Bernardo. Take care of that baby grass!

Leslie said...

There's nothing like seeing those bright green blades sprouting through the earth!

Susan's Snippets said...

Lisa....

Oh, how I can relate. Except for me...it has more to do with a very, very small backyard and a very, very big black dog.

He literally LEAPS off the deck and demolishes any grass under his feet. The perpetual mud spot is going to be covered with limestone pavers as soon as we get a weather break.

grass will not grow there for goodness sake

C.T. said...

I SCREAMED when I saw your house....who cares about your garden sweety!!! Your house is FAB!!! Stefan came in and asked me what I saw that made me scream that loud.......HER HOUSE!!! WATCH HER HOUSE!!

I'm done now...peaceful, calm...

Love your post! xx, C.

Jeanne said...

Lisa, I have been reading some of your old blogs and loved your 'Travels in London' with gorgeous Luca. I was particularly enamoured with the piece on Persephone books and have vowed to visit there on my next trip to London soon. I was born and brought up in London but there are places I still don't know! Also your piece on Charleston House brought back lovely memories of a visit there way back when (a return visit is also in order). Lewes is a lovely town too, did you know they now have their own currency?. Thank you for your inspiration!! I have already posted today but couldn't help myself!

pve design said...

In "fiction" grass is "Greener than you think" and to imagine it as fodder, or for some athletic pastime or for simple admiration from a brown study inspires me.
My grandmother loved to see the greening of Spring and always shook her head in awe "Can the grass get any greener!" As a teen, I thought she was a bit off, but now I realize how special green grass truly is. Then there is the "bluegrass" of Kentucky. Oh, look what you have started.

Style Court said...

Loved this post on so many levels. What a treat to see more of your home too.

Acorn Dandelion and Rose said...

Congratulations! I hope your babies thrive. You have such a beautiful home!

two hippos said...

I can't begin to give any great lawn advise living in England where I thought one only needed lots of rain and a little sun for lush green grass, but my brother with 2 very active boys did resort to lazy lawn. Now no matter how many games of football or cricket are played he always has a beautiful lush green garden!

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