Garden View: Phase 2 Degrassification

Degrassification: noun, dih-gras-uh-fi-key-shuhn; the technical term for the removal of grass in an area for garden planting that often induces its removers to engage in bouts of swearing, sweating, and general displeasure; syn. distress, unhappiness

Phase 2

After a winter of praying for snow to cover the tragic mound of wood chips and Mother Nature barely obliging, we can attempt to restore our yard.  J— and I headed to the Elgin Historical Museum which is *literally* down the block to find old pictures of our home; if we were truly lucky, we would have found an early snapshot of Margaret and Oliver Fabrique, the original owners of our home, frolicking in the front yard with their young children or perhaps Oliver scowling while Margaret tipped back one too many while playing whist with her lady friends.  Well, we were not “truly lucky” and instead found a 1960s photo with some low bushes in front–hardly the inspiration I was looking for.  In fact, the 1960s museum photo, the one found in a mid-1990s Housewalk brochure, and the five-year-old Google Earth photo all depict our home as having straight-forward, non-exciting bushes, a giant oak, and nothing else.

This simply will not do!

I then spent days pouring over historic homes on Pinterest and Google looking for that spark of creativity.  Alas, every photo had Foursquare Prairie Style home look-a-likes with overly flowery, cottage style, perfect for a Queen Anne gardens or straight-forward, non-exciting bushes–no in-between.  I do love the cottage look (and secretly long for a worker’s cottage), but it is not keeping with the character of my home.  And, of course, J— wouldn’t exactly be thrilled with a garden taking over all of the front yard, as men have pride in their lawn and feel the need to show off to passersby; I could not deprive him of such and earthly need.

I’ll get to the lawn another day…

With a general plan of attack, off we went, tearing into the grass: scoop after scoop, shovel after shovel, lawn bag after lawn bag for five hours, until ahhh… I’ve been degrassed.

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8 thoughts on “Garden View: Phase 2 Degrassification

  1. I like your idea of degrassification. I personally think that garden is more fun than lawn and have managed to remove the grass from my back yard. Mint makes a nice ground cover and the kids love to hide in it.

  2. I’ve had to do a fair amount of degrasssification in our yard, so I appreciate all the hard work you did. But I’m confident that it will be worth it when you get the yard looking the way you would like to have.

    Thanks for visiting my post.

    • 1904 built by Louis Sullivan for O.L. Fabrique and his wife Margaret. In fact, we found the original floor plans of the home at the historical museum. It’s interesting that even then, contractors deviated from the original plan.

      • We had the privilege to live in one from the 1920’s, although it was a a Sear’s Roebuck home. I still loved it so much! How fun to be planning your landscape. During this time period many family/home gardens would have taken advantage of plants that grew readily in the area. They would also use herbs, fruits, and vegetables in the landscaping. I love to play in the dirt 😉

      • I adored it and was so sad when we had to relocate to a new state… It’s 1960’s ranch style for me right now… But I dream of a an old beauty again someday =)

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