Sculpting a Paradise


2014-01-23T19:25:06+00:00
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Though often overlooked, a properly maintained lawn is one of the best aspects of owning a home. The ability to walk onto your own patch of land and enjoy a lush, healthy landscape can be an incredibly therapeutic experience, helping to melt away the stresses that naturally pop up in our lives. Likewise, a sparse, dirt laden lawn can feel like stepping into a prison, and in Central Texas it can be very difficult to keep grass alive and flourishing.

My name's Sam, and when I graduated from college two years ago, I was thrilled with the idea of home ownership. I had spent four years crammed into dorms and apartments and I wanted more space, but the main thing I had missed after moving from home was my parent's lawn. I was flooded with memories of birthday parties and outdoor grilling. I wanted to capture a little bit of that magic for myself, and I wanted to be able to share those experiences with my friends, family and future children.

After a while, I was elated to find out that I could afford a house., though I came to the conclusion that none of the houses in my price range had the yard that I desired. Some of the nicer houses had stunning yards, but they were far outside of my budget. Even if I could have afforded them, I had observed a number of lawn care professionals maintaining these beautiful lawns, and I had not anticipated that cost. I decided that, with a bit of work, I might be able to sculpt a lawn that would bring me pride. I settled on a house with a fairly small backyard, thinking that if the yard was smaller, I might have an easier time maintaining it properly. The lawn was mostly dirt with small, sparse patches of weeds jutting out of the ground. To say the least, it wasn't inviting, and I couldn't imagine my friends, let alone my future children, wanting to spend any time there.

After months of hard work and countless dollars spent on water and fertilizer, I had barely grown any grass, and the grass that had appeared was dry and nearly dead. I decided that my lawn was destined to be a barren wasteland. Part of the problem is that I live in Central Texas, which is extremely hot and dry. Without employing the help of a team of lawn care specialists, it's very difficult to maintain a lawn. The other part of the problem is that I was having trouble balancing my new career, my social life and my off time with the increasing amount of effort my lawn was demanding.

A few weeks later, I went to a party at my friend's house. He had never been able to get his lawn looking much better than mine, despite having more money and time at his disposal, but as soon as I stepped into his backyard, I was struck with child-like wonder. Beautiful, lush green grass filled the ground. It was nothing like the dirt pile that I remembered. We greeted each other and I quickly pulled him away from the other guests, begging him to tell me his grass growing secret. He whispered, "It's fake."

After the party, my friend explained the details of his artificial lawn. He said that it only needed to be watered occasionally, and that you don't even have to dry it. I told him that I had heard of artificial lawns, but since I could barely afford the cost of maintaining an organic lawn, I figured I could never afford it. He told me that an artificial yard is actually more cost efficient in the long run. After doing some research, I discovered he was telling the truth. I also found out that the tools used to maintain an organic yard pump untold amounts of chemicals into the atmosphere, whereas an artificial yard doesn't require nearly as much upkeep or pollution.

A few weeks later, my artificial lawn was installed. The specialists removed my wimpy, brown grass blades and poured sand to create a foundation that would prevent unwanted growth. They installed the artificial lawn and they were done, simple as that. With the exception of occasional watering, I don't have to lift a finger or pay a penny, not to mention harm the environment, to have a lawn I'm proud of. I've made plenty of memories with my friends and loved ones, and my backyard has become a popular spot for family birthdays and celebrations. I transformed my prison into a paradise, and I couldn't be happier.

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