Friday, September 15, 2006


The Style of Mowing

Guess what? Too much physical labor makes my head doppy, too. I went practically comatose tonight after mowing the lawn. Okay, I have to admit that the lawn was more of a mat, it was so long. About three quarters of the yard worth, anyway. The other quarter is a sand lot masquerading as a pathetic lawn - sort of the comb over of lawns. It's been this way since we excavated for an addition a few years ago. Can't get anything to grow in the soil, especially on the north side of the house. As for that really long stuff, honestly, I thought maybe a quail or pheasant would flush up out of it. It took me several passes to shorten it to a decent length.

What's up with us that we haven't mowed for so long? Our Minnesota summer has been surprisingly devoid of rain. We mowed maybe two, three times in all of June and July. Normally, we're mowing every week. August rolled around and we got some rain. The grass grew, but we were out of the mowing habit. We finally got around to it, or rather, our kid did and the mower died. Right on the eve of leaving for five days.

Did the grass behave itself while we were gone? No! It kept right on growing. And we with a broken lawn mower. Turns out it was just the spark plug that needed a good cleaning. That done, I got to work and starting thinking . . .

It's been said that there's no legislating taste or style. There was a discussion on Minnesota Public Radio the other day about the how older housing is being torn down by developers and private home owners because they want something bigger and more modern. The upshot of this is that we are losing the history and style of older neighborhoods. The discussion ran to the difference in style that people have and how some gaudy stuff was going in next to classy stuff. How you define gaudy and classy is up to you.

So, how does this relate to lawns? Our lawn style is to let it go au naturel, doing as little as we possibly can to it. If we had the time and money, we'd probably replant a bunch of our yard in wild flowers and prairie grass. When we visited my brother in Portland, Oregon last year, we noticed that a lot of yards were done this way. Cool look. But not as far as some of the neighbors are concerned. Their tastes run more to that of the perfectly manicured Persian rugs of grass, with nary a weed in sight. They spend lots of time on their lawns, spraying chemicals and fertilizing their precious blades. Fine by us (except maybe some of those chemicals). Really, we don't mind the look at all. To each his own. However, they don't seem to care for our taste in lawns.

Thank goodness taste and style aren't legislated.

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