Every Spring it begins anew… The slowed down trucks as they pass by my house, the flyers left in my mailbox, on my doorstep, the phone calls… Chem Lawn (excuse me, I mean True Green) begins their courtship ritual. Every lawn service guy that rides down my street stares slack-jawed at the weed fest connecting the sidewalk to my house and thinks to himself: “My God, this woman clearly is unaware of her lawn issues, I’d better report this outlier hippie!”. I’m surprised they don’t break down the door and stage a full on intervention, I mean, I’m pretty sure they must think that the poor family that lives here must be tied up, duct tape over their mouths, unable to make that critical call to rectify the unacceptable state of their lawn! Because what other possible explanation for this dandelion-ridden, clover-filled, pathetic excuse for a lawn could there be??? Don’t they know that they live in a neighborhood full of people who have paid good money to have the bejesus blasted out their enormous lawns in the persuit of perfection? And that their dandelion fluff is ruining it for everyone??? Arrgh!!!! Seriously, lawn guy, calm down.
And of course the truth is… I do know. And I feel horribly guilty that my lawn is ruining it for everyone. I cringe with embarassment everytime I pull into the driveway. I keep thinking, when the lawn is mowed, it will look better… it’s totally going to blend in and everyone will will be fooled into thinking that we’ve taken care of the problem… but no. I swear those leggy yellow bastards conspire to lie down when that mower blade passes over them, only to slowly rise again like the zombie-dandelion apocalypse! Kill it with fire!
The temptation is HUGE every year to kill the weeds with herbicides because the natural products and fertilizer we have been using for years don’t work (and what are we fertilizing exactly? Not grass, that’s for damn sure). Part of me really wants my lawn to match the other lawns, if not for the sheer OCD-ness of needing things to visually “go” together.
There is a reason for the state of my lawn of course… a bunch of reasons. Millions, in fact, if we are going to count every living organism in a 1000 foot radius. But mostly it’s my kids who keep me from jumping off that cliff. My kids who are upset when we mow the weeds because “Mom, now what are the butterflies going to eat??” My kids who play and roll down the big hill, and wrestle with the dogs in the front lawn. My kids, who, upon seeing the side of a lawn service truck plastered with pictures of a green lawn and a giant butterfly that doesn’t exist in Nature remark that maybe using chemicals on your yard will breed mutant butterflies!! Um….no. My kids, who remind me everyday that the creatures big and small are really grateful not to be soaked with toxic stuff.
So when I start to lose my resolve, and begin to leaf through that brochure that’s been left on my front door for the 50th time, I look to them to remind me why we don’t give in.