Grass is always greener

One of the distinctive characteristics of Palm Springs is certainly the lush green landscaping in the middle of the desert. It is an incredible contrast with the sand and rock. It turns out that there's more to all that green grass than water. I've been surprised to learn that the grass is reseeded every spring and fall.

The fall Ritual of the Grass began this year the last two weeks of September. It was as if a message went out: Kill the grass! Plant new grass! Green grow the grass!

I awoke one morning to find the gardeners savaging the lawn, cutting it all the way down to the dirt.

click picture to enlarge The lawn gets a buzz cut
click picture to enlarge Clippings raked into little haystacks
click picture to enlarge Normal view toward the pool
click picture to enlarge View with haystacks

Wait, there's more!

In due time the clippings were loaded onto a truck and hauled away. Then began the process of making the "new grass carpet." Grass seed and fertilizer were spread, and then the top surface of the lawn was worked up with a machine that looked like a lawn mower but functioned like a roto-tiller.

click picture to enlarge Whatsoever ye sow
click picture to enlarge So shall ye till


I've not seen an authoritative explanation for these rites of fall and spring. What I've heard is that it has to do with (1) heat tolerance (2) water consumption. More later.