Welcome to the 11th issue of PITH + VIGOR, a weekly newsletter by me, Rochelle Greayer, with a focus on garden design, plants, and making this world a better place. I'm glad you're here. Was this newsletter forwarded to you? You deserve your own: Subscribe here.


Harvard, MA, March 20th, 2023


Grass Conveys Status.  (and it is so dumb) 🙄


Like it or not, it says "I have the time and money to keep this swath of green in perfect shape - I have means - I am better than anyone that can't keep it perfectly trim and particularly thick and green”.

Why? Because we have collectively and historically agreed and bought into this landscape language and the message that a lawn sends. 


It's like in high school - where if you roll your cuffs just that one way - you are capable of communicating your exact level of cool. 



And it makes us kinda crazy. 👀

I hear it from students and clients all the time: 

Coveting a neighbors perfect lawn.  

Lamenting and feeling stress over our own less than perfect. 

But lets be straight -  Lawns are the dumbest social construct.

I simultaneously want to laugh at the absurdity and scream at the stupidity.   (Seriously, we rank and compete on lawns?!?!) 




Do you notice we are changing?  


I can’t tell if it is actually happening or if I just think it is because I spend an inordinate amount of time paying attention to all things related to gardens, plants and trends. 

What do you think when you see a big house with a big huge lawn? 

Do you feel braver about doing something different than just planting grass? 

Are you still worrying about moss, clover, dandelions and other things that ‘<gasp> blemish your green facade? 

Have you left your grass to grow a little longer on occasion? 

Maybe underplanted it with something? 

Ripped some of it out?

Taken even more drastic action?  

I’d love to hear what you think of the current social temperature on lawns are right now. 

Mostly I'm just curious. Email me your thoughts if you have any?


I live in New England where you can actually have a sustainable lawn.

The grass will grow and stay green without irrigation, without pesticides or fertilizer and I am 100% ok with a lawn that is more than just fescue.

(Clover, “weeds”, dandelions, ajuga, thyme, and others survive and thrive in my lawn-y areas).  

We mow with a mulching mower and we regularly let it grow very long - in some places we mow only a couple times a season.  


Lots of people comment about how beautiful it all it is.  

But despite all this, I am still making plans to replace it with better.


Pollinators, natives, more beautiful garden shrubs and trees that I love.

Plants with more capacity to capture carbon.

Every year, a little bit more. 

If you are thinking along the same lines I have lots of help for you: 





Will you remove some of your lawn this year?  More next year? Rewind some areas, plant some native plants. 


Where should you start?  

I suggest you stop fertilizing and watering and see what happens.

Then start converting the first spot that looks terrible.

You might find that some areas are fine on their own - but those that go downhill fast are the ones that you’ve been propping up the most. 

Take it one step at a time. 

The grass might be greener, but at what cost?  Perfection is a myth and it is the enemy of progress.

A green facade is as fake and silly as an instagram face filter and <I think?>  we are all starting to see through it.  Right?




See you next week. 



P.S. Are you wasting water in your garden?

With the increasing incidence of drought, it's more important than ever to ensure that we use water efficiently. 

This weekend - March 26th (Sunday) at 3:00 pm EST  - Horticulturist and landscape consultant Noelle Johnson, aka 'AZ Plant Lady’ will join us LIVE in our on-going P+V Lecture series.

Dealing with Drought: Creating a Water Saving Landscape

Noelle has lived in dry climates her entire life and will teach us her favorite tips for saving water in your outdoor space while making it look great!  Get your tickets here.

Greayer Design Associates

PO Box 394, Harvard, MA
United States