by David DeJohn, NHCLP
Is it just me or does it seem like April was a nice slow month that took its time getting to the end, but May is just screaming by? Full into it now, juggling too many jobs at once and still hanging on to the idea that I’m still on schedule. I’ve only gotten slightly better at saying no, but self preservation and sanity require that I start saying it more often. Luckily the clients that I do have on the schedule are being relatively patient and seem to understand the circumstances as I work to establish some sort of rhythm and plow through the project list.
It has been a beautiful spring so far, although it would be nice if it would warm up and the wind died down; and the display of color from the Forsythias, PJMs, and Crabapple trees seem especially vibrant. We are still in a drought though (see the article by Ted Diers and Stacey Herbold in last month’s Newsletter), and that’s troubling as we head towards summer. So I’ve started to have that conversation with clients who are looking for new lawns and new plantings to be installed, letting them know that there might be an issue later in the season. Most seem aware and understand they’ll be taking a chance, especially with lawns, if they decide to move forward that there could come a time when it becomes a choice as to watering their lawn or protecting their wells and drinking water.
In fact, along those lines I just recently met with a landscape committee at a 55-and-over community in Loudon that was looking for information about using more groundcover and plants in place of lawns. The community is built on the site of an old gravel quarry and the soil, what little there is, is of poor quality, and as there is no in-ground irrigation allowed. Growing a lawn, a good lawn, is next to impossible without regular and steady rain. The committee was looking for a little guidance when members of the community started submitting designs and ideas to replace their lawns. They asked great questions and were very open to the idea of using plants, groundcovers, and perennials to replace the brown grass, limiting the amount of bark mulch and encouraging homeowners to use rain barrels. It was nice to see the community start to look for – and be open to – new ideas and other alternatives to grass instead of continuing to struggle with something that just won’t work and is not sustainable.
We have a great educational opportunity coming soon! I hope you’ll join us at Canterbury Shaker Village on June 15. This will be a unique event, as well as our first Twilight Meeting in over a year; I hope to see you all there!
Have a great Spring!