Hodge: Abandoning the ideal lawn for flower and veggie gardens

It’s officially true—the grass IS greener on the other side of the fence.

The reasons are simple: My neighbour (Liz) has spent years and years manicuring her lawn.

She also hires a lawn maintenance guy on a regular basis and she’s addicted to Roundup and other horrible pesticides.

Oh yeah…there’s another reason her front lawn is much greener than mine. I don’t have any.

Imre Csorba, of Access Mini Excavating, took care of that scenario two weeks ago.

If you want to get rid of a dandelion-infested lawn—just get rid of the lawn.

That little pearl of wisdom entered my feeble mind a few days before Imre and his backhoe arrived.

It had a lot to do with the dagger-like stares I was getting from Teresa as she cut the lawn for the second time in less than a week.

Tez had mowed the front yard at great consternation earlier in the week and yet, within two days, the little yellow suckers had sprung back up thicker and happier.

Over the years, Tez has begrudgingly (and thankfully) cut the lawns since my allergies and severe asthma have made it too difficult for me to do that chore.

But watching her struggle once again with the non-ending weed battle was the last straw.

So I called Imre and gave him the green light to turn my yard to brown.

Two hours of precision back hoe scraping and digging and our lawn infested front yard became a blank landscape canvas of dirt.

If you want to get to know your neighbours simply remove your entire front yard lawn, pull out a couple of lawn chairs—and wait for your local world to walk by.

For the past two weeks, Tez and I have hauled dirt, built raised garden bed boxes, bought and brought out our own self-started flowers and veggies, and slowly turned the brown into green again.

Now, however, our water will no longer be wasted on a senseless lawn and will go towards growing food or perennial flower gardens.

Rain barrels will go in next week and a lot of our planting will be with a xeriscape concept. When all is planted some crush will be brought in as well.

To add a little charm we have resurrected a white picket fence that Teresa’s dad built before he died.

We brought it from Vancouver and it now adorns our changing yet enjoyably challenging new front yard.

We have spent more time in our new front yard the past two weeks than in the entire five years I have lived here.

And the bonus is I have met and got to know a bunch of my neighbours in the ‘hood.’

So the grass may indeed be greener on the other side of the fence, but so is the water bill


Here’s an event I fully support and encourage Kelowna residents to take part in if they can.

On Saturday, June 11, the eighth annual Okanagan Walk for ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) will take place starting at Rhapsody Plaza in Kelowna’s Waterfront Park.

ALS is a rapidly progressive neuromuscular affliction that causes a patient’s brain to lose the ability to send messages to the muscles.

Eventually, those with ALS lose the ability to walk, talk, eat and ultimately, breathe on their own although their cognitive abilities remain fully intact.

The nasty disease can strike anyone regardless of ethnicity, gender, or age. While most ALS cases surface around age 55 to 60 there are some cases as young as 20.

On average, patients live only three to five years after diagnosis and ALS claims the lives of two or three Canadians each day—more than AIDS.

There are about 3,000 Canadians living with ALS today and nearly 40 in the Thompson/Okanagan area.

ALS is extraordinarily expensive for a patient and their families.

The Okanagan Walk for ALS hopes to raise $50,000 for the ALS Society of B.C.

Registration starts at 9 a.m. with the walk at 10 a.m.

This year, in conjunction with the walk, organizers say a Poker Run motorcycle ride supported by AIM Interior B.C. and ALSBC will leave from Prospera Place at 10 a.m., en route to Tickleberries Ice Cream store in Okanagan Falls.

For more information call Gerry McNeill, walk coordinator at 250-764-0120 or 250-870-1638




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