Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Green, Green Grass of Home

Our floating home, that is.  I’d been intrigued by a lawn – a half acre almost – on a cruise ship, so it was great meeting those on board responsible for its care. 

Lawns are a feature of the Celebrity line’s Solstice class ships. It really is quite amazing and was a very popular place on our ship.  We watched bocce ball and croquet being played.  One night blankets and pillows were set up for wine and cheese under the stars. Sometimes concerts are held there. And it was a favorite place to gather for sipping wine and watching ‘sail away’.
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For a good deal of our Atlantic crossing a large portion of the lawn was covered with plastic – protection from the blowing salt sea waters (and to rehab it from the 100’s of kids who had done an Easter Egg hunt on it the week before we boarded). 




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Lawn management is a full-time job for brothers, Sherwin and Arnold Viajante, (in blue jackets above) both who have degrees in agriculture.  The two, along with their supervisor James Mitchell, the ship’s Environmental Officer (second from left) gave us a  Lawn at Sea 101 on our last sea day. We also met Antonio Delina, whose ship title is 3rd Cook, but is in the Celebrity cross-departmental training program and working with the lawn team.  I enlarged the photo above to show how green the grass was – although the team told me that in two weeks it would be ‘even better’. (They should see ours!)
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Sunday afternoon – the day we boarded the ship-  they’d been ‘sanding’ the lawn which is a blend of creeping Bermuda grass that likes hot weather and Rye, the bunchier stuff that prefers cool temps..  Bermuda grass flourishes with sand, making it grow thicker and stronger, they explained.

While they don’t worry much about weeds (occasionally bird droppings or guest shoes may leave a pesky seed) but here in addition to watering and mowing, they also must balance the weight of the growing media  (turf), sub-surface irrigation, the liner and stabilizer net .  Way too much to think about. . .

Somehow it makes our lawn care back home seem quite simple.

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