Monday, January 14, 2013

What is a Turf Inspector? Or The Steps to Remove a Lawn

I would have to follow several steps to transform our lawn from a Pebble Beach putting green to a haven for California plants.  Here are the first steps: 

Step 1: In the dead heat of summer grab the water bill and stand in the yard.  Look from my water bill to the lawn and say: I spent that much on this itty-bitty, mini patch of green? 

Step 2: Kick myself.

Step 3: Explore different options of a front yard without green grass.  Like doing a California native plant garden or Xeriscaping.

Step 4: Look up “Xeriscaping”: Xer-i-scape (noun): a decorative type of landscaping developed in the Southwestern U.S. that plunks down cacti, rocks and an American flag to simulate the moon’s surface.

Step 5: Tell the moon and Neil Armstrong, “no offense”, then opt to go the California native plant route instead.

Step 6: Take a deep, deep breath.

Step 7: Decide to rip out the grass, in toto.

Step 8a: Discover that the City of Los Angeles is operating a Turf Removal Program to encourage its open-minded homeowners—or just the stupid ones—to remove their turf to lower their water bills.  To make it exclusive—and oh, so Hollywood—the Turf Removal Program is “by application, only”.  There’s even a red carpet and velvet rope.

Step 8b: Read on the application that the City will refund me some of the costs of this Turf Removal.

Step 8c: Re-read the “refund” part 10 times to make sure I've got it right: The City will refund moi if I ditch the grass?! 

Step 9: Give myself a fist bump for googling this issue so effectively.  Maybe I’m not one of the stupid homeowners after all!

Step 10: Read the application’s fine print stating that L.A.’s Department of Water and Power will send a Turf Inspector to our home to confirm that we have grass that can be removed and we are coo-coo enough to do it.

Step 11: Realize the government will be involved.  Sigh.

Step 12: Complete the first part of the application and mail the sucker off!

Step 13: Welcome the Turf Inspector who confirms we have grass and we are nutso enough to remove it ourselves.  She tells us with a warm smile that we now have 120 days to delete the putting green and replace it with something that will rival the Huntington Gardens, Descanso Gardens and Griffith Park combined.

Step 14: Cry with sheer terror!

Step 15: Realize Rome was not built in a day and neither will our turfless yard.

This process is most definitely To Be Continued…