Travel with me back to the early winter month of November 2012. That’s when the idea of transforming the lawn into a productive vegetative habitat crept into my head and, like a catchy pop tune, wouldn’t leave my brain alone. Obsessive thoughts of wild creatures. Of seductive native plants. It was early winter, with drab charcoal skies, cool temperatures and growing darkness. The dismal days further fueled my desire to do the dastardly deed of death.
The new area would be a native perennial island oasis ringed by a narrow path of turf that I would spare. I mowed the large area short. Newspaper I had dumpster dived out of the nearby recycling center was then laid over the sheared grass about four sheets thick. I chucked a few inches of compost over the paper layers, shoveling with the zeal of a demented gravedigger. The act was now complete. All I had to do was wait. Visions of decayed turf grass combined with springtime planting filled my murderous heart with anticipation. It would be a long winter.