The Bay Loves My Lawn

Dear Bay Weekly:

At last, my laziness has been given the stamp of approval, at least by the scientists trying to save our precious Chesapeake Bay.

An article in the November 8 issue of The Washington Post stated that the largest “crop” around the Chesapeake Bay watershed is lawns, and that the runoff from that crop accounts for eight percent of the nitrogen and 15 percent of the phosphorus entering the Bay. This, of course, comes from the fertilizer that makes lawns look so green and pretty. Therefore, I am now proud to claim that brown, crabgrass- and dandelion-infested patch of ground is, indeed, my lawn.

While my neighbors toiled in their yards spreading fertilizer, pulling weeds and killing invasive plants, I rocked gently in my hammock, sipping a malt beverage and waved at them. Oh sure, they shunned me. I never got invited to backyard barbeques or pool parties because I have the lawn that lowers their home values. I’m the neighbor who never waters his lawn or even mows it, for that matter. Why? Because I’m lazy, that’s why. It’s true: The grass is greener on the other side of the fence, especially if you’re standing on my side of the fence.

Now, I have proof that my style of lawn maintenance is approved for the health of our Bay. Native plants have overtaken the grass, honeysuckle climbs the fence, weeds dominate my lawn. And I accomplished all of this by doing … nothing.

So the next time one of my neighbors drives by and yells, “Hey, Delaney! Your lawn looks like crap,” I’ll take it as a compliment.

–Allen Delaney, Prince Frederick