The outdoor season in New England began a week or two ago, and like a few million other homeowners I've started paying my weekly tribute to the Home Depot. This ritualistic sacrifice of money is necessary for the well-being of that holiest of spaces on my property--the front lawn. Many birds are grateful for the seeds I spread in a futile effort to encourage the growth of non-native grasses. I occasionally worry about the downstream effects of some of the chemicals I have purchased. My experiments with clover have been limited in success. I'm worried that everything I've planted is dead or dying. Something always ends up growing--and I actually look forward to weeding some of the uglier species.
I enjoying seeing lawns that are in good shape--but I also enjoy variety. Residential landscaping will certainly become more diverse and hopefully, sustainable, in the decades to come. At some point I'll settle on a good solution, or somebody will reveal it to me, for the right price. Until then, the alchemy will continue.