i don't like lawns. maybe there has been too much written about the uselessness, wastefulness, and general horror that is lawn-ness for me to ignore. perhaps i was persuaded by this 2008 new yorker article, which laments that "the essential trouble with the american lawn is its estrangement from place: it is not a response to the landscape so much as an idea imposed upon it—all green, all the time, everywhere." or possibly: lawns epitomize the suburbs, which i enjoy visiting (such an exotic way of life!) but where i don't intend on ever putting down roots.
it might be weird to say, then, that i love grass. i recently acquired a carpet of astroturf, inspired by some i saw at the nyc home design show, and had also been eyeing the wild, colorful, feathery grasses that are so plentiful on the highline. so yes to fake grass and yes to ornamental grasses, but no to boring, over-fertilized expanses of sameness.
after doing some research online, i deduced that the grasses i was drawn to are varieties of feather reed grass. these are non-invasive, clumping grasses with a lot of height and can thrive in full sun. they are also perennial in new york city, which is key since i don't want to buy the same plants over and over each year.
in addition to the grasses, i got some lovely purple-y green sedum, another maple (it's tiny!), and dwarf japanese knotweed. sadly, the yard is currently a demo zone, so these plants have been living in their quart-pots since they arrived. it's not ideal, but they seem to be doing okay (although there is some yellow).
here's to keeping them alive!