The Clampetts Move to Maryland

So long, Virginny.

We moved into our new home near Solomons Island, Maryland on June 3.

It is a beautiful beige colonial with a forested backyard, the smell of freshwater in the air,  box turtles aplenty roaming around the undergrowth and songbirds in the trees.


The house the day before the moving truck arrived. Lovely, of course. But I’m done with grass – it’s a monoculture of almost no value to wildlife that requires enormous inputs of chemicals and energy. It has to go. (Insert villainous, maniacal laughter here.)

I cannot wait to explore the nature of the Patuxent River, the Chesapeake Bay, and the Potomac River!  I start my new job as a naturalist for Point Lookout State Park  – getting paid to love and share nature! – on Wednesday.

But first things first:  setting up house.

It’s an unholy mess.

A godawful, ridiculous disaster of boxes and deliveries and donations and pee-soaked carpets and unhung art pieces.

It’s overflowing into the front yard.  Between the empty boxes and the old, broken washing machines, we look like the Beverly Hillbillies, the Clampetts.

And now I’m making it worse.  I’m flattening the cardboard boxes and laying them on top of the lawn in order to kill the grass.

Lawn mostly covered with cardboard. Poor neighbors.

This is a great way to kill grass without using chemicals.  Mulch will be delivered soon to cover the cardboard for prettiness’ sake.  Beneath that mulch, the cardboard eventually biodegrades, mixing with the dead grass to make a nice organic layer in which to plant native perennials, shrubs, and trees.

Eventually.  But I just met a kind neighbor who lives catty-corner (I’ve never written out that idiom before – have I spelled it correctly?) to us, who is trying to sell his home and is having his open house tomorrow.  Catty-corner from the yard that looks like the Clampetts’.

As soon as I hit publish, I’m going downstairs to make a couple of nice, hand-lettered signs that will read:

“Beautiful, botanical-garden style front yard coming soon!”


“We promise, we are not the Clampetts.”