Ministry Of Controversy

Who will buy my lawnless garden?

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Breaking news – to anyone who knows me and assumed I’d never, ever leave my garden – I’m selling it and the house it surrounds.  Time to move on.

Selling the Complicated Garden

Any realtor will tell you that nice gardens may or may not be advantages in selling a house – because most buyers just want what’s easy.  So I’m prepared to hear that, and I’m ready with some assurances that mostly-shrub gardens are really easy, and I’ll even teach the buyer how to prune and otherwise take care of this low-maintenance garden (really it is, I promise).

But then there’s the problem/advantage of the totally lawnless state of the garden, front and back.  Above you see what it looks like today, a two-species combo of Sedum sarmentosum (sometimes identified as Sedum acre) and Liriope spicata. Neither needs any maintenance except a bit of edging to keep these vigorous spreaders within bounds.  No mowing, feeding, or even weeding required.

(I recently posted photos of what this looked like a mere month ago when it was mostly bare soil – scroll down to the second photo.  Since  the heat wave has ended, the Sedum has filled in vigorously, and for the bare middle section I’ve filled in with Liriope for instant erosion protection.)

But if the buyers have kids, we all know what they’ll do, right?  Rip out all these groundcovers and replace them with conventional turfgrass.  Oh, well.

Click here for more photos of my garden. The house, on a great street in Takoma Park, MD, is a 1925 Sears kit home, the “Conway” model.

Downsizing for the Aging Gardener

Like Sydney Eddison, I’ve been feeling the aches and pains of taking care of a large garden for too many years – 26 years on this lot.  But unlike Sydney, who’s converted her perennial beds into shrub beds and plans to age in place, I’ve decided to downsize both house and garden to a manageable townhouse-sized garden (end unit, of course).

So I’ll be moving to Historic Greenbelt, Maryland, a planned community built in the ’30s as part of FDR’s New Deal. (Lots more about it here and here.)  I haven’t found my new home yet but I already know I’ll be paying about a third the price of the house I’m selling.  I’m cashing out!

I hope to be settled and unpacked by spring, in time to start my new garden.  It’ll be both smaller and more visible to the public, owing to foot paths running between all the backyards, and its location on the corner.  So now I’ll confess that as much as I looooove my back garden and the woods beyond, it’s a lonely place to spend so much of my time.

Posted by

Susan Harris
on September 27, 2011 at 6:25 am, in the category Lawn Reform, Real Gardens.

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