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Our front yard: Its days may be numbered.

Our front yard: Its days may be numbered.

I am plotting a murder: I want to kill my lawn.

I’ve been turning the idea around in my head for a couple years, and I think—with drought conditions worsening here in California and another long, hot summer on the horizon—the time has come.

I know that it is the right thing to do for so many reasons. We will conserve water, which will be great for our parched state, as well as our water bill. We will be able to plant vegetables in part of the yard, turning the land to productive use and possibly saving money on food. We will be able to do away with the polluting lawnmower.

But still, I feel a little sad.

Part of it is just the idea of killing something so established—it seems kind of wrong. And part of it is my resistance to change, which is particularly strong right now because we have neither a definite plan for what we will plant in place of our grass nor much money for new landscaping. But I also think that killing the lawn is a bit like letting go of a certain version of the American Dream, so linked they have become in our consciousness. This feels to me a little like jumping off a cliff, an uncertain thing in already uncertain times.

But that grass just ain’t green, and so it must go. What will come next is still unclear.