With the water restrictions last summer and residents' reduced ability to use nematodes to defend their lawn against the Chafer Beetle, this scene will be increasingly played out on properties all over Vancouver (and surrounding areas).
I keep wondering when this green icon of American suburbanization of the 1950's will finally be relegated to the sidelines in favour of thriving annual and perennial gardens. Don't get me wrong. In some scenarios grass is the perfect application. Great for kids to play on, perfect for formal spaces, appeals to the structured aesthetic and cultural symbol of stability and safety, and the smell after a Sunday morning mowing reminds us of 'home' for many who grew up in Canadian suburbs across the country. Trouble is, they are huge resource hogs - water, fertilizer, pesticides, and time. With the chafer beetle sweeping across the region, it seems like the perfect time to give up at least some of the lawn so we can enjoy our spaces with diversity, flowers, wildlife habitat, or food. I don't think with climate change, we can expect anything but more drought in summers to come this chafer problem is also not going to go away anytime soon. The damage crows, racoons, and skunks are wreaking on them leaves quite an eyesore and the amount of labour/$$ to start from scratch seems highly wasteful . Every time I see someone reseeding these extensive torn up patches, I want to reach out and convey the current lawn reality. Plant lavender, plant thyme, plant ornamental grasses, plant clover, plant whatever. Let the lawn go.