Kenny Be's Yard Arteology: How to grow gargoyles in pink gravel

The study of neighbors through their lawn ornaments...

Figure 20. Athmar Park: Grass-free greetings from a gaggle of gargoyles.

Lawns of Kentucky Bluegrass have always seemed like a water-wasting luxury here in semi-arid Denver. However, even the laziest homeowners will agree that despite the regular watering and mowing, such lawns are the easiest to maintain. Xeriscaping sounds like a good idea, but after spending thousands of dollars on native species and several summers of nurturing what should come naturally to the environment, the city dweller is often left with little more than a mat of bind weed interspersed with Canadian thistle. The truly frustrated will often turn to Zeroscaping, which is the practice of covering the surface of the yard in three inches of concrete and/or gravel.

It is quite plain to see that the residents of the home in Figure 20 are masters of Zeroscaping. After eradicating nature, they have painstakingly replaced it with the wrought-iron wall-trellis "trees" and the pink gravel "ponds" necessary to attract a menagerie of concrete wildlife. The size and number of gargoyles indicates an advanced need for extra protection from evil spirits, and suggests that this may be the home of two or more trial attorneys. The closed metal blinds demonstrate the action needed to guard against the radiant heat. And the little green weed sprouting at gravel's edge (just right of the lower center in the photograph above), implies that the homeowner has not yet given his Zeroscaped yard its springtime dousing of Round-Up weed killer.

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