The Lawn Wars

I was out walking my dog today after dinner. In a neighbourhood where it’s common not to see a soul out and about at that time, there were, not one or two, but five lawnmowers operating on our usual loop; not walkers, but expensive bagger-mower combinations all. Apart from all the cacophony, it got me thinking for about the hundredth time about those high maintenance lawns.

Lawn care is an obsession. When you start on the quest for the ‘perfect’ lawn,  or even quite a bit less, it can be all-consuming. Many a weekend morning and afternoon at my cottage have been marred by one, then another, then yet another of my of my neighbours putting out to trim the growth down to the perfect length. All of which leaves me, increasingly, as the local Lawn Grinch.

What the heck are lawns good for anyway? Actually, nothing; their “goodness” resides entirely in a consistent green-ness, representing an even length and absence of unsightly outcroppings of broad leaf weeds and the (recently reclassified) dandelion (flower). You might just as well worship the uniform finish on the average automobile.

As someone who has fairly recently converted to the utilitarian view of the futility of lawn care, I do only enough lawn care to prevent my neighbours from effecting shunning proceedings for devaluing their properties by the unsightliness of mine. I do so grudgingly but I have a plan.

I’m in the process of building a new house. I have planned everything down to the smallest detail, including this: flagstone, expansive river rock encampments, beach grass outcrops and hearty shrubs and,…,(wait for it),…, a single square foot of grass.

I’ll make a big occasion from time to time, going out to trim the beast with a set of scissors. The remainder of the time, when others are cutting, I’ll be doing something fun, or nothing at all. (Maybe it’ll catch on.)

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