The Anarchy of the Lawn and Other Woes

While some parts of the United States have had a little break from the heat this summer—especially here in Northern California—most of the nation has sweltered. Combine water shortages in places with relentless heat and you have a recipe for a dirt lawn. Not that I’m a big fan of lawns, anyway. They suck up nutrients better served to garden plots and trees. But let’s assume the average reader of this blog still likes to curl their toes in nice summer turf and roll the barbecue out for a few burnt offerings in September.

If you’re one of them, these yards simply won’t do:

The Winner
ugly lawn winner

All around this great land, lawn repair and maintenance companies host “worst lawn” contests in conjunction with local newspapers. The winner (loser, really) gets a lawn makeover. This nasty Ohio lawn took the prize from nearly 70 entries. Congratulations to Melissa Martie from West Akron.

Fire Up the Barbie

fire up the barbie

Colorado Springs.com
held its own contest for the ugliest lawn, with the top contestant winning $1,000 worth of materials and labor from a local nursery. I simply love the ambience of this submission.

Skin Them Shins


My personal favorite in the Colorado Springs contest has to be this stunner. It brought back memories of my college rugby days when we were told our team was to play a match at the famed Rose Bowl. The joke was on us: we played the match on the dirt, chips of glass, bottle caps, and worn grass of the Rose Bowl parking lot. But I digress…

Send a Healing

My heart goes out to the “worst yard contest” entrant at CBS 42 News in Birmingham, Alabama. The Trussville resident sent in this photo along with the following plea:

“I am writing to humbly ask for your help! From July 2008 to May 2009, I had 4 major surgeries to remove my colon. Because of major complications, I spent 62 days in the hospital, had a month of kidney dialysis AND lost my job of 12 years. I was bed-ridden for over a year. Right in the middle of this horrible time, I woke up to the sound of bulldozers and tree cutters, clearing the beautiful woods behind my house. Within a couple of weeks, everything was GONE! No trees, no birds, no squirrels! Over a year of blasting, machinery and hammering later there is a now a church (which is really not the problem) BUT every tree has been removed AND they put the dumpster just a few feet from my yard. Every day when I look out my window and see that dumpster sticking out of the “nothing-ness” it is a horrible reminder of the past 2 years of my life. I would really appreciate your vote so I can put some trees back to help hide the dumpster and build a healing place! I want to see the deer and the squirrels! NOT a dumpster!! I received a $6,000 estimate to landscape my back yard. I am focusing on getting better and very thankful for my healing, but I am still am not able to work. I want to bring “life” back into my yard. I need a healing place! I would be so very thankful for your vote and anything you could do to help us. Your friend in Alabama!”

You, dear entrant, deserve your own arboretum and greenbelt. I hope CBS done you right!

One Response to “The Anarchy of the Lawn and Other Woes”

  1. Bart says:

    I agree lawns suck! They use too much water, the fertilizers leach into the water table, and you need to spend your whole summer mowing them. I prefer mulch and gravel.

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