Ministry of Controversy

Anti-Lawn “Revolutionaries”, Rise Up and Respond!

You might think that title is a joke but It’s certainly not to regular commenter Greg Draiss, who happens to be general manager of Adams Fairacre Farms in Poughkeepsie, NY and even more interestingly, a speaker for SafeLawns.org.  He’s been mixing it up here at GardenRant (even more than usual) in comments to my posts about lawn replacement.  And now he steps up to defend turgrass (and the gardening business as a whole) over on his blog in a post called "Gardening Under Attack Online on ‘Garden’ Blogs".  I predict that your favorite part will be the description of you, our unruly bunch of readers and commenters, as sheep (to paraphrase).  Stop by and speak your minds!

I’ve already responded, but I forgot to warn Greg that there’s even more coming soon on this subject.

UPDATE:  Greg’s restored the post after taking it down for a while.  Unfortunately, he removed all the comments, so you might want to comment here instead.

Posted by on November 17, 2008 at 12:05 pm, in the category Ministry of Controversy.
Comments are off for this post

52 Responses to “Anti-Lawn “Revolutionaries”, Rise Up and Respond!”

  1. You posted this just for me didn’t you? lol I have a soapbox that I specifically carry around just for this topic alone. :) I’ll have to gather my forces and press on. Thanks!

  2. Katie says:

    I dug up half of my lawn this spring and planted low-maintenance, but really beautiful annuals and perennials, as well as some new trees and shrubs. I am about to embark on my next project, carving up the other half of the lawn to plant vegetable gardens. I say “gardens” because, by the time I’m finished with it, my yard will be a patchwork of veggie and perennial gardens. There is not enough sun for veggies in a continuous line, but who cares?

  3. Jen says:

    I read his post, and this was my response:

    I work with the Extension program in Florida, and the “turf vs. environmental hort” wars are alive and well here, too. There are plenty of green groups that push the “native-only” perspective for yards, and a lush, green lawn isn’t very native Floridian, nevermind “St. Augustine” grass. But the turf industry is a very big part of the landscape, excuse my pun, and we’re constantly under pressure to walk the line in our publications and web content. Let’s face it, most people want a lawn – it’s drummed into our very conscious as the American way. So it’s the industry’s (and non-profit groups’) responsibility to support homeowners’ desires for turf, and still educate them on how to do it right (not too much, easy on the fertilizer, pay attention to your community’s watering restrictions, etc.). So Greg, I wouldn’t worry too much. Yes, there is an active community that’s not turf-friendly, perhaps even “anti-turf”, but the buying public wants their lawn. The focus should really be on giving people want they want, but encouraging them to do it in a sustainable, healthy manner.

  4. MaryContrary says:

    I am annoyed by the lawn industry (clover intolerant, oodles of high N fertilizer, boat loads of pesticides and gallons and gallons of water inappropriately applied), AND I have less “lawn” all the time, AND I think a lawnless existence is a very good idea for some people and some properties, BUT there is still a place and a need for lawns. I used to get a kick out of people who would post questions at places like Garden Web along the following lines — “what ground cover can I plant that will take full sun and lots of traffic from my kids and dogs?” Um, gee, GRASS?

  5. Willi says:

    I’ve been happily tearing out my lawn and replacing it with vegetable gardens and ornamental beds, but I’ll never get rid of it completely. I like to romp with our dog on the lawn and our chickens like to eat the grass. My goal is to shrink it down to a size that I can “mow” with a string trimmer.

  6. kim says:

    His post made me angry. I didn’t think his post was very fair to Rant, so I posted this (Susan, forgive me if you don’t agree with my assessment):

    Mr. Draiss,

    I don’t know if you were hoping to open a dialogue with your post or if your comments were meant to be tongue-in-cheek. If you weren’t or didn’t, let me apologize now for my comments. While I thought part of your post was balanced, your words about Garden Rant seemed a bit mean-spirited. If that was not your intent, then I’ll apologize again.

    I’m not so sure you’ve been really paying attention over at Garden Rant. It’s not a mob mentality. In fact, there is a fair amount of discussion and a whole lot of humor and tongue-in-cheek commentary. As for controlled atmosphere – if you paid attention, I think you’d have noticed it would be impossible to control most of the regular readers. We’re an opinionated and passionate lot.

    As for the ladies not being real or avid gardeners . . . . well, if you bothered to look at the photos of their gardens, you would see they are about as real and avid as gardeners get. I’ve been gardening more than 30 years, and I’d take any of their gardens in a heartbeat. They shop (a lot, and you’d know that if you’d been paying attention) at local and small family owned garden retailers. I think one person buying more than 400 bulbs in one season qualifies as a lot, don’t you?

    Second, I don’t think Garden Rant is anti-lawn. Just because Susan decided to get rid of hers doesn’t mean she wants to deprive you of yours. I think most readers at Rant would admit a properly cared for, right-sized lawn is an asset to the garden. And if you haven’t figured out that Susan is a first-class pot-stirrer, that she’s trying to get people to discuss and debate and THINK, then I go back to my supposition that you’ve not been paying attention.

    They got you to talk about their blog, didn’t they, although you didn’t do them the courtesy of providing a link with your criticism. Of course, they linked back to you, when they mentioned your post. That’s blog courtesy. I wonder how many comments you’ll get and what percentage will be from regular Garden Rant readers.

    While I do profess to be a gardener (one who shops at small, family owned garden centers), I don’t profess to be a blog pro. That said, I do know when something is painful to read. You might want to consider changing either your text or background color – orange on dark green is not what many would consider reader-friendly.

    As I said earlier, I don’t mean my comments to be offensive, but I don’t think you gave Rant a fair shake. Of course, they can take care of themselves just fine, but I, as a regular reader, also felt somewhat belittled by your post. Consider my comments self defense.

  7. That’s got to be the least readable color scheme I’ve ever seen. Was white on yellow unavailable for some reason?

  8. Wow, you take a 24 hour break from blogging to get some real work done, and a revolution breaks out! I won’t make that mistake of putting work before blogging again.

    It’s interesting that the people who evoke patriotism and the American way of life as a way to make their point are often the most ignorant about American history. I also commented on pro-lawn guy’s site and won’t copy the whole post here, but not surprisingly, mine is the long post that reads like a history lesson.

    Susan, I LOVE all the controversy and debate you are stirring up on this topic. Whenever I post something in my category “We don’t need no stinkin’ lawn”, the only dissent comes from Ninja Granny (and she’s my mom, so I don’t think that counts, because she just likes to disagree on principle).

  9. Except for the horrible eye straining color scheme with the text, must be the chemical exposure Michele Derviss mentioned earlier that makes it readable to him, that was one of the more civil things he has written. Congratulations Greg.

    However if you want to be an effective advocate for SafeLawns.org you need to do a better job selling grass as an effective and viable solution for landscapes in many situations than say it is patriotic. That is idiotic. This is America. We like choices and we like the newest, best, and most up to date thinking, even in our gardens. Lawns don’t have to be toxic, time consuming, water hogs or really even be fertilized with best management practices. They even make design sense in many situations. Try an approach like that.

    No one is trying to take away your precious American Freedom Lawn.

  10. Poor thing. Greg couldn’t take the heat and removed that post. I was headed over there give him a copy of my comment.

  11. I guess that I am one of the lucky ones.
    When I clicked on the link , this is what I got :
    Page not found
    Sorry, the page you were looking for in the blog “The Real Dirt On Gardening” does not exist.

    Based on the writing contents and the lack of educational value from past posts made by Greg Draiss I am positive that I am not missing much, except for the behind the blog scenes laughter.

  12. James says:

    I’m proud to have nothing resembling a lawn. Since Greg couldn’t take the heat and removed the offending page, I vote here for the anti-lawn forces.

  13. eliz says:

    Oh darn. I missed it too.

  14. susan harris says:

    Since my comment on Greg’s post is now gone, I’ll copy it here (and thanks, Kim, for pointing out something I forgot to mention – that we damn sure ARE avid gardeners!):

    Susan from GardenRant here! I’m the one who keeps writing about lawn alternatives, so I’ll step up to the plate and respond.
    - Here’s my standard disclaimer about lawn replacement, in which I defend the stuff. http://www.sustainablegardeningblog.com/archives/391
    - We’re big supporters of small businesses in the gardening world.
    - WHO wants to outlaw turfgrass? Can you be specific? I’ve only heard of restrictions on turfgrass going into effect in desert or semi-desert areas.
    - Where on GardenRant did you find the “revolution” that you quoted? We do say “uprooting”, but “revolution” – did you make that up?
    - And I know GardenRant readers will get a chuckle out of your assertion that we’re a “controlled atmosphere” within which our readers follow us as their leaders. Really, LOL. Susan

  15. Oldroses says:

    Every year, I dig up more of my lawn and replace it with flowerbeds. My goal is no lawn, just flowers. But don’t worry, there are still plenty of lawns in my neighborhood. I’m a minority of one.

  16. Shibaguyz says:

    Dropped by his blog just to say how disappointed we were that he removed his post. Whether we would have agreed with it or not is not the point. The point is that he has the right to post what he wants as long as it is not hurting anyone else.

    Unfortunately, he didn’t have the nerve to stand up for what he believed in and leave his post up. Either that, or he had a change of heart about his opinions in which case he should have printed a retraction to show good form.

    Either way… would have been nice to see what he had to say or why he decided not to say it anymore. Only speculation at this point, eh?

  17. Well the link to his post wasn’t working when I tried it, but I have a few words to say, nonetheless. First, come to my neighborhood and call me a sheep. I’m one of only two lawn alternative front yards in a three block area.

    Second, water and drought are the real issues around here here, so I don’t care how safe your lawn is, pouring drinking water on it is probably not the most citizenly thing to do.

  18. greg draiss says:

    The post is back………… I found some typos on my word perfect copy and did not have time to fix until this morning.

    Evryone knows on here I can’t type!

    So anyway let me have it I can take it (I hope!).

    I do not irrigate my lawn. We have ample water but my homeowners asscoiation charges dearly for it. If it is dry and droughty I let it go brown.

    Now for my rebuttal to the rebuttals:

    My lawn has shrank from 1/2 acre to 3,000 square feet.
    I fertilize once a year.
    My garden is beyond organic as I have sprayed no pesticides of any kind on it in the last 5 years at least. I have let the back 1/3 of my property grow wild to allow for wildlife to thrive, including rabbits that eat my peas and deer who eat my apples. The rerason I have had no need to spray is because of the huge populations of beneficial insects living there.

    I lecture on organic gardening instilling the factthat an organic pesticide is still a pestcicde. Iteach right plant right place and compost compost compost!

    My kids fight over who gets to use the compost in their gardens which they choose the plants for and buy with saved allowance money.

    I will apologize for the sheep comment. It was a bad thing to say on my part. I do not apologize for defending the great American Lawn however big or small it may be.

    I have been promoting organics inproducts I sell to customers since the late 1980′s back when most prganics were little but snake oil or fertilizer. Today with the advances in the products and the interest 95% of organic/natural producs at the garden center are shelf tagged with a 3×5 card indicating the benefits of the product. I do not believe in hiding organics in their own section of the store. The organic products are mainstream now and desrve to be front and center.
    When a gardener comes in with a problem we show them both remedies most always organic first.

    If I had my own garden shop I would probably offer a vast majority of controls and fertilizers as naturals/organics. but I do not own the business.

    I stand by my comment that most lawns are not fertilized and that regular fertilizers (note fertilizers not herbicides, fungicides, insecticides) are safe if the nitrogen is buffered and phosphorous removed as is the trend.

    Google a phrase such as “are there antibiotics in cow manure” and you will find British studies showing that growth hormones, steroids etc are in manure. The founder of Canyon Ranch (Dr. Andrew Reil(SP?)no longer uses bone meal in his garden due to problems with mad cow disease and the way the spores MAY be transmitted. He is the authority on Vegan/Organic living. I respect him greatly.

    As for safelawns.org I signed up about three years ago when they were looking for speakers I am not an active part of that organization.

    So I hope I have restored some civility.

    Again I stand by my support for lawns.

    The (humbled) TROLL

    Susan I did see somewhere “revolution” associated with Garden Rant. If not on here in news articles and interviews with you ladies about the blog. I apologize if my sourcquote was wrong……

    Again my apologies for the sheep comment……………..

  19. susan harris says:

    Greg, could you respond to my other corrections, please? LIke: Where do we admit to not being avid gardeners? Who wants to outlaw turfgrass?

    (About your quoting us as wanting a “revolution,” I did find this on the Rant, which is Michele asserting the importance of beauty in any gardening revolution: http://www.gardenrant.com/my_weblog/2008/07/farming-the-fro.html

    And I have a question on behalf of our/your readers: Why did you remove all the comments? Seems pretty disrespectful to allow comments, then just delete ‘em.

  20. greg draiss says:

    when I took the post down the comments went with it I am again sorry.

    As for being avid gardeners the statement should have read not in the garden business. I apologize.

    The subject of ridding/reducing/eliminating etc lawns lawns just got my blood boiling and I do have a problem of over reacting and pay for it in the end. Especially when my comments are in written form.

    So go ahead and let me have it……I screwed up in my approach/response but still stand by the lawn.

    And to Chris/NC: sorry about the color scheme do you have any paint chips for me to choose from?

    The (defending my turf) TROLL

    I promise from now on to count to 10 before flying off the keyboard again.

    I will continue to defend lawns large or small.
    And I repeat my point that reducing/eliminating lawns in arrid climates makes absolute since. But I live in an area that usually gets enough rain to keep a lawn green without irrigation.

    The idea of eliminating a lawn because of water shortages is not a one size fits all issue. I wish there was a way, but I cannot send any of the 6 inches of above normal rainfall we have seen here in Albany, NY to drought stricken areas.

  21. gsdraiss says:

    To Chris/NC:

    I am well aware lawns do not need to be toxic………..

    I am perfectly capable of defending the benefits of natural lawns etc. from design to function etc.

    That was not the purpose of my “protest”.

    Lawns are very prtiotic and as much a part of the American dream as home ownership itself. As well as serving environmental functions as well.

    If one wants to make their lawn smaller fine. I did as well..more as time/money saving venture than saving the planet.

    The TROLL

  22. naomi says:

    Well, I’m lazy, that’s why I want no lawn. Plus, up the street I have lots of green growing along the bayou, where I can stroll for miles, or just over to City Park, with its green areas. Thorstein Veblen’s idea in “The Theory of the Leisure Class . .” suggested “we appreciate a well-trimmed lawn because it is a sign of surplus labour and wealth.” I like his idea that the wealthy in his time collected exotic pets like zebras to graze on those lawns because puritanical influence could not abide the waste.

  23. Thanks, Greg, for responding. I am guilty of flying off the handle from time to time, too, and amping-up the rhetoric too much. I for one really appreciate your coming back and correcting/amending some the things you said.

    I think lawns are perfectly permissable, they just need to be re-thought to be more responsible. And thanks for letting yours go dormant in drought. That’s one way we can re-think lawns.

  24. Bob Vaiden says:

    I did leave a comment. Lawns have been an obsession, not an “Icon of the American dream”

    AND… Lawns are certainly NOT the “underdog”! For years, lawn fanatics have tried to control everyone else (you really need to mow those weeds…or else!)

    It is funny that some talk in fear about “banning lawns” after all of these YEARS of banning wildflowers, etc! Wildflowers and native plants were banned for years…they’re STILL illegal in many places.

    It would be a WONDERFUL thing to see front lawns replaced with vegetable and flowers! Finally something to look AT!

    About 5% of my 1 acre lawn remains. My 150 species of wildflowers await for more space. We’ll keep a bit of lawn…but just a bit.

    In summer, our place is ablaze with butterflies and fireflies; the neighbors lawn looks just SO perfect… and empty! Nothing to see there!

  25. Bob Vaiden says:

    As for watering lawns…as much as 60% of the local water supply in some western cities has been poured on the lawns.

    THAT’S gonna’ stop…period!

  26. eliz says:

    Well, I can fully understand why Mr. Draiss might not believe it possible to be an avid gardener and a writer at the same time. However, we are avid gardeners, and I hope that has been corrected in the post.

    But neither that nor the sheep comment bother me nearly as much as the bizarre tying of lawns to patriotism and the American dream. The only patriotic gardening in U.S. history of which I am aware are the WWII-era victory gardens, where vegetables were grown.

    Otherwise, I’d suppose that a lawn, as a distinctive feature of the wealthy English landowner’s estate during our revolutionary times, would have represented the oppression of the small farmer, whose toil supported many of those estates.

  27. JT says:

    I have often questioned the concept of non-lawn landscape being for the “lazy”. The default choice of a lawn in so many cases is a laziness of imagination; the care of said lawn is passed off to a weekly mow-blow service in another act of personal laziness; and the lawn itself offers so little visual stimulation it evokes little yawns of laziness in the passerby. My no-lawn yards are easier, though not for the lazy: easier on the eyes, easier for butterflies, birds and lizards to live in, easier to take care of without any pesticides, easier to relax in, easier to find things to write about.

  28. greg draiss says:

    Yes 50% of water being dumped on western lawns is foolish…..

    To Bob: my lawn is crawling with cool creatures. My kids point them out to me every spring on my fertilized (UNPESTICIDED) lawn.

    One of the most amazing things is to watch a young child follow insects through the lawn and even funnier to watch the expression on their face when they try to catch their first grasshopper!

    I watch the butterflies in the “gone wild” part of my yard from a LAWN CHAIR in the middle of the lawn.

    The TROLL

  29. Renate says:

    Interesting. Coming from outside this country, the lawn always seemed to me not the symbol of Freedom but the symbol of America’s obsession with instant gratification. (And we know what mess that got us in).
    But I’m encouraged that more and more people are considering sustainable options, especially in areas that are arid or have droughts. Golf courses and commercial landscaping are next.

  30. Nora says:

    I agree with Elizabeth that the tying of lawns to American patriotism is both historically inaccurate and just plain silly. Speaking as an English woman who’s lived in the U.S. off and on for almost 20 years, I’ve noticed that those Americans who are most enamoured of the words “freedom” and “patriotism” often do not understand the full meaning of either word.

    I’ve been an avid reader of Garden Rant for over a year now, and have noticed no attempted revolutionary overthrow of American lawns, merely a gentle advocacy of a more sustainable lawn. I have my own tiny patch of turf, and I enjoy it very much, thank you. I’ll bet most of the Ranters do too. There are some really serious problems in this world, Mr. Draiss–save some of your ire for them.

  31. /rant ON
    “A smaller version of the Great Lawn sits in front of millions of American homes. These great lawns in miniature are the work and pride of homeowners who embody the same over riding principle behind the Great Lawn in Washington, freedom and pride of accomplishment.”

    While I love the sentiment, I seriously doubt that the majority of small-lawn owners are purposefully planting “Small Great Lawns”. I wouldn’t want the Washington Great Lawn replaced. It is a Memory in green. But calling all lawns purposeful memorials seems a bit naive to me.

    I think MOST people who plant a lawn just don’t know enough to know their options. And there are so many! Fragrant lawns of herbs and low-maintenance flowers. Steppables. Our options today make “just” a lawn rather passe, and let’s say it: boring.

    Bless those who love their lawns. May they live long and prosper. But there are new and exciting ways to beautify one’s environment, and growing veggies is hardly an ignoble way to do so. Planting steppables which exude fragrance and flowers at each step is hardly thumbing a nose at the garden industry. Planting a low-maintenance herbal lawn to attract wildlife is hardly a an irresponsible alternative.

    We now have options, and we are not afraid to use them!

    /Rant Off, and go Garden Rant!

    >^,,^<

  32. Brie says:

    I’ve been wanting to create lawnless landscapes since before I ever started reading Garden Rant, and I came to it on my own through my own personal idea of what I wanted my home to be like.

    I grew up mowing the lawn every weekend to pay for my car (it was a deal my dad worked out with me) and realized what a waste it was, as we didn’t even USE our grass. It looked nice, but the woods next to our house looked nicer, and the ditch where the pitcher plants grew looked way more interesting. I spent far more time there than in the yard itself.

    If you want a lawn then have your lawn! But don’t call it part of the American Dream, please. As a very patriotic American, I believe I can speak for myself on that.

  33. Brie says:

    Please excuse my crappy grammar. I’m at work it’s distracting me from proofreading my blog comments.

  34. jenn says:

    Garden Rant is also unusual in that the four contributors are admittedly not avid gardeners but writers who write about gardening. They do have gardens but they are by self-proclamation writers first who started gardening as a hobby.

    – Please back this accusative-sounding statement up with the numbers of all those fine people out there who are first and foremost professional gardeners. [...and therefore - apparently - the only ones who are qualified to speak of gardening, unlike these mere 'hobbyists.']

    – Compare and contrast this number against the hobbyists. Extend this analysis into the blogosphere. How many of those hobbyists have degrees that reflect their interest in plants? Biology? Agriculture? Etymology? Etc.. How many have successfully completed the ‘Master Gardener’ courses?

    One of the icons of the American Dream, a green lawn, has come under a barrage of attacks from Garden Rant and others in the blogosphere. Lawns to these bloggers are unnecessary, time consuming, polluting, over fertilized, water hogging, and out dated.

    The online groundswell against the American lawn has grown to the point of calling for the Great Lawn in Washington to be replaced with a vegetable garden!

    – The Great Lawn in Washington needs sheep to groom and fertilize it, not foreign oil – or did you not know that the vast majority of fertilizers – the kind applied to lawns and golf courses everywhere across the States – are petrochemicals?

    – What’s more ‘American’ [and our neighbors are American, too, North and Central and South, they love generalizations like these] than going to war to keep your lawn green?

    I think this anti lawn groundswell is a product of mob mentality. When someone in a controlled atmosphere, such as a blog, a political speech at a convention get the crowd excited they follow the leader and climb aboard the band wagon. When people of like minds gather on a regular basis with no opposition it is easy for the leader to get all on their side.

    – I think in terms of audience this is called ”Self-Selected.” Self-selected audiences look for others who feel as they do. I’m not sure the great mob influence you are crediting the Rant crew with is the actual direction of the cause/effect here.

    There are some giants in the industry but the traditional garden outlet is family run.

    – Hoo boy, they may be ‘family run’ but any place that has more than one store, and subsequently under-paid semi-employed unhappy workers providing crappy service, is a chain. We have quite a few of those around here.

    – And I’m out of steam, and time. Man. Way to provoke a good rant. Do you think that’s what he meant all along?

  35. Bob Vaiden says:

    “I watch the butterflies in the “gone wild” part of my yard from a LAWN CHAIR in the middle of the lawn.

    The TROLL”

    Me too… And from my wildflower woodland in the middle of the hot summer! I even still call it a “lawn chair”!

  36. Bob Vaiden says:

    BTW, in Illinois folks have started a “Master Naturalist” program similar to the “Master Gardener” program.

    Many people are excited about gaining knowledge of the natural world. Classes have been full the first 2 or 3 years, with folks studying mammals, amphibians, insects, botany, geology.

    “Graduates” are monitoring frogs, butterflies, and others are restoring prairie or woodland.

    Some have gone on to another new program: the “Corps of Discovery”, recording natural events throughout the year using writing, art, and photos.

    I think that all of this is tied into a renewed interest in gardening and nature! At least, that’s what I’m hoping:)

  37. Well this is fun. I love it when a good mob is unleashed, especially those un-American, un-patriotic ones who defend their freedom of choice, love of diversity and determination to do what ever they want in their own private property.

    Greg it seems I may get you worked up almost as much as my revolutionary leaders. Perhaps I should give up this silly notion of staying in the profession of horticulture and start writing for a living.

  38. Carolyn says:

    I’ve been reading Garden Rant for quite awhile for a number of reasons: I like gardening, I like people, I like people with strong opinions, and even more I like people with strong opinions about gardening. Even if I occasionally don’t agree with one of the posts or comments, I usually learn something valuable. So, Greg, if you’re reading this, brace yourself, because I’m going to respectfully hold your feet to the fire. Not everyone is able to disagree or hold an opposing opinion on a topic and avoid being hateful, divisive, and narrow-minded. Um, Greg, you’ve really dropped the ball lately in this area. I know you are capable of expressing differences respectfully, because I’ve seen you do it. Other times, you hurl intentionally cruel remarks, AND GARDEN RANT NEVER DELETES YOU. Even back in the days, early on, when you rarely had a nice or friendly thing to say over here, Garden Rant left your posts here. They allowed the post comments to speak for themselves. I’ve heard that you have a hot temper. That’s ok. But count to ten before you post. Then when you disagree you’ll sound like the intelligent person that you are, and not like a person-hating neo-nazi, which I know that you’re not.
    You’re a man who helps homeschool the kids, teaches them about gardening, cooks and cleans and parents beside your life partner, and likes to make green things grow. That’s all pretty good stuff, and shows character.
    Please bring your “good twin” back to Garden Rant, the one who knows how to bring a well-tempered opposing opinion to the table without going all “cornered wolverine.” You’re in a very good position to teach us about sustainable lawns. Remember that those anti-lawn posts are not anti-Greg. This is a playful community, and you’re part of it.
    Proverbs 27:17
    Fondly,
    Carolyn aka Lawnless & Happy In Arid Napa Valley

  39. greg draiss says:

    yes Chris/NC you do get me as worked up as your revolutionary leaders. (I am still waiting for the paint chips to clear up my obviously color blind type color on my blog)

    As for the family run opeartion not being family run but a chain….we give excellent service at our three locations even with 800 employees. simple reason…excellent treatment of employees by the owners and they are in the stores every day making sure we give good service.

    I was out for spinal fusion surgery 8 years ago and they paid me the whole time out (six weeks)and still let me take vacation if I wanted to (did not take it)
    How could I not repay my ustomers with that same level of care I am given?

    OK: I will use self directed next time.

    It must be a man thing placing lawns with the American Dream of home ownership. But I must say the first place the men go on Saturday mornings in our store, after handing their wallets over to wives to hit the gourmet food side of the store, is the lawn care dept waiting to see me for advice. Some are all natural, some are wanting to switch over to natural lawns and some are traditional lawn care programs but on a smaller scale these days.

    But that is how I see it from my corner of the garden world…guys love their lawns around here and show pride in a nice looking front lawn even if it is just a patch of weeds they like it green.

    The (chauvanist and proud of it (LOL))TROLL

  40. greg draiss says:

    To Chris/NC

    I am glad you see this as fun….Now I won’t have to loo over my shoulder next time on my way through North Carolina.

    The (Damn Yankee) TROLL

  41. greg draiss says:

    I was able to comment during the day when taking breaks from “high level” management meetings. We were working on pricing for next years, of all things, grass seed and fertilizer.
    Every 90 minutes I need to get away from the numbers and look at green grass before it’s all gone.
    (covered by snow I mean)

    At 7PM I have to take on the Coxsackie-Athens Schol Board. Seems in the middle of New York’s looming $42 billion dollar deficit our school board wants to shove down our lawn mowers a $20 million renovation project with a net gain of only three classrooms.
    Rumor has it thay want to replace the Great American Sunday Afternoon Lawn (aka football field) with a medicinal herb garden.

    I can see a huddle taking place in the middle of the garden, you know it’s really a group hug in disguise, but Roman Chamomile though a nice turfgrass replacement (did I just say turfgrass replacement) does not hold up well to cleats.

    The (ready,set,mow) TROLL

  42. vicki says:

    It would appear that the most potent message out of all of Greg’s posting and re-posting is this (and one I should heed):
    “Don’t post a comment in the heat of the moment” Or, to paraphrase an oldie but a goodie “Think before you comment.” That is, Stop, don’t comment in haste. Think. Say what you really mean in the first place and you don’t have to spend so much time trying to clarify after the fact…and try to mend broken fences that didn’t need to be bashed in the first place.

  43. Carolyn says:

    All ranters who have their own wallets and don’t wait for hubby to hand one over at the nursery, say aye.
    OK, I thought so. You all have your own wallets.

  44. Aye,
    Gawd forbid that we actually pay for our own plants never mind have the intelligence to choose a perennial ground cover over a slab of turf.

  45. bob says:

    I buried the lawn under 10 inches of wood chips 10 years ago. They’re free, by the way; just call a tree service. They’re happy to get rid of the waste they otherwise have to pay to dispose of and drive to do that. I will mow no more. Never a dandelion, no problems. Plant shrubs, trees, the kids can play in it and never get hurt. What is it about “free” people don’t like?

  46. greg draiss says:

    I know both sexes carry their own wallets these days…………but the guys who come in to see me for lawn care stuff do fork over the cash to their better halves.
    Then they comment to me me…

    “My wife makes as much or more than I do and I still have to give her my money”

    Trust me it happens. My wife has a part time job so she can earn her own extra spending cash but hits me up all the time for the nickel and dime stuff!

    And I do the cooking around here!

    The (Father Knows Best?)TROLL

    PS Vicki: I skidded off the road and went through your fence today when I spotted a beautiful load of sod on the back of a pick up..
    sorry…

  47. Brie says:

    AYE. In fact, I AM the wallet in this family. I’m also the one who mows our temporary lawn. My husband couldn’t care less if we have grass or a forest outside, as long as he doesn’t have to do anything considered “yard work”.

  48. Gloria says:

    The peculiar evil
    of silencing the expression
    of an opinion is,
    that it is robbing the human race;
    posterity
    as well as the existing generation;
    those who dissent from the opinion,
    still more than those who hold it.
    If the opinion is right,
    they are deprived of the opportunity
    of exchanging error for truth:
    if wrong,
    they lose,
    what is almost as great a benefit,
    the clearer perception
    and livelier impression of truth,
    produced by its collision with error.
    -John Stuart Mill,
    philosopher and economist (1806-1873)

    Gloria

  49. Greg Draiss says:

    Gloria: Can I walk barefoot across your lawn?

    The (Tip toe through the bluegrass) TROLL

  50. Dave says:

    I live in the west, where wars have been fought over water. Years ago, I replaced the grass in the front yard with low-maintenance desert landscaping. Now that my son is grown and the backyard is no longer is personal playground and imaginary battlefield, the grass is gone there too. I do have a little patch of green in the backyard, but it’s artificial – n owater, no mowing, no instecides. It’s lovely.

  51. jude says:

    I worked for Greg at Adams in the garden dept.- I left in the spring when they moved all the chemicals and fertilizers inside next to the register and I went home feeling sick every day. Personally I think lawns will become less popular as the economy shrinks. Amazing what people will spend to put chemicals on their property!

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