When my husband and I bought our little house 12 years ago, there was no lawn. There were weeds, and saplings, and bramble, but no lawn. The property had been left to the ways of the wild; every acorn given free reign to grow into a mighty oak, every pine nut encouraged to sprout up a tiny little pine tree.

While viewing the house with our Realtor I picked my way around the lot, tripping here and there on a root or a rock. I imagined a rich, sun-dappled lawn; green and lush and freshly mowed. My brother-in-law suggested we mulch the whole front, and I gaped at him in horror. Mulch? No sir!

Before the ink was dry on our mortgage papers we called in a landscaper. Hubby and I spent a weekend digging out and pulling up every tree, root, rock and weed. Then the men came and tilled the soil, added in pounds of lime and other things good for the soil, spread seed, and laid down the straw. Within a few weeks the front of our house was carpeted in green. A neighbor even stopped one day while walking past and told me how much nicer the house looked.

The lawn held it’s own – for a few years. There were spots where the grass never seemed to take hold, and I’d scrape up the earth and re-seed it each fall and spring, but eventually it would revert back to dirt, or clover, or moss.

We rented an aerator once and plugged the entire lawn, then put down more seed. Our lawn looked great until we hit a drought. It rained something like 4 times the entire summer. Everyone’s lawn looked like crap that year.

Then we decided to hire professionals – TruGreen to be exact. Their team came in and did a whole bunch of treatments and sprays and seedings and feedings, and our lawn looked great. Until we went on vacation for 2 weeks. We halted the service and by the time we got back our lawn had deteriorated greatly. Our neighbor told us we’d had plenty of rain, so it couldn’t have been that. It made me distrustful of the company – how could a lawn could fall to pieces in the span of 13 days?

So we fired them. Here we are 3 years later and our lawn is in the worst shape it’s ever been.

I stare at neighbor’s lawns with envy. My husband says it’s because we have too many trees on the property, but I’ve seen homes with lush, green lawns that have just as many trees as we have. I want to give up, but I just can’t.

I went out yesterday and bought a bag of plain Jane grass seed – nothing fancy. No self watering, mulch covered seed – that’s too expensive. I scraped and dug and scratched away 3 wheelbarrows full of moss, and seeded 1/8 of my lawn. I was too tired to do any more then, but I will today. I’ll work hard to fill in the gaps and maybe, just maybe, I’ll have a halfway decent lawn by July.

Then Hubby and I will fight over who gets to use the lawnmower.