Once upon a time there were three houses on the lot that is today Mezzacello. Today there is only one that remains But the shadow of the footprints of the other two rubble foundations persist in the grass on hot summer days. This is the reality of an urban garden that is built in a densely populated urban environment. There will be rocks, the foundations remain.
If you dream of perfectly manicured suburban lawns, dream on – or be willing to use so much water it is suspect. One of the realities of urban gardens is that there will be costs. The soil is compacted. There will be clay. There will be debris and “artifacts”. It will NOT be easy to amend. There is a cost to doing this. You will pay that out in water, in labor, in grass seed. You choose what’s important to you. But be willing to pay a price. There is no such thing as a free lunch.
I choose to think of this like the Japanese culture does with the concept of “kentsugi”. Kentsugi is the practice of repairing precious pottery that has been shattered with golden glue. The precious metal in the glue creates a beauty in the cracks that renders that which has been destroyed beautiful again. The dead grass at Mezzacello is my Kentsugi nod to what was there before. I do not choose to ignore it. I honor it. And I respect the history of this place. The energy that was there before – including the forest that was here before the 18th, 19th, and 20th Century histories that I deem relevant. One day this will be something else. Today I honor the cracks and celebrate the life and beauty that I create around those cracks.