When I first moved in with Monkey Man nine or so years ago, the backyard was a mess. A great expanse of weed with some well established trees. Good trees mind you, but he can't take much credit for them. The old Polish woman who lived here before Monkey Man had planted a plum and three lemon trees. There were also lilac trees but not much else. Actually, to give some credit to Monkey Man, in the ten years before I came along he had planted a couple of gems - a fig tree and a terrific Japanese maple which has grown enormous. But my neighbour Mr P told me that he reckoned the old lady would turn in her grave if she saw the neglect Monkey Man had inflicted on her garden. Gardening is just not his thing. He likes mess and jungle and non clumping bamboo (don't get me started on that one again). And, it seems, weeds.
Here are some before and after pics from a previous post I did a few months ago. You can see in the before photo that we're in the middle of a renovation - and look at the mess! And loads of grass. Oh and look how little Eldest Monkey Boy is.
Dixibelle's blog and she was writing about strategies at her place to reduce weeds and one of her ideas was to mulch the paths that were currently 'lawn'. And it struck me that I too should be done with the grass altogether and maybe mulch all over. And plant more stuff where the grass is and extend my veggie patches even further. Or maybe gravel over some bits? It's hard for me to envisage so I'm a bit hesitant to completely commit but... I think I'm about to embark on a de-grassing project.
So I've been googling about (you know I'm very fond of the google) and have started a little folio of web images of non-grassed gardens. And I would greatly appreciate your input. You can see from my shameful photo some of what I'm dealing with. This shot shows the trampoline to the right, the chook shed, slide and broad bean patch in the distance and is taken from under the plum tree. That colourful thing to the left is a sitting hammock that swings from the plum tree and those planks of wood are seats too. It's actually a nice spot - shaded in summer and sunny in winter... and impossible to see your feet in spring.
So do you have any advice? Am I fighting a losing battle? Have you de-grassed at your place? Any images or links you can direct my way or advice you have to convince me to de-grass or otherwise would be greatly appreciated. Oh, and I don't have much money to spend. So lots of pavers or expensive gravelly things aren't going to work for me. What do you reckon?