May 01, 2007

Lions Are Just Dandy

Spring has once again arrived here in Minnesota. I know this because my lawn has once again become absolutely alive with dandelions. Iíve written about this before, but since I have no idea what else to write about, Iím going to write about dandelions, whether you like it or not.

To put it mildly, Iím not all that big into lawn care. I donít care about my lawn. All my neighbors seem to spend all sorts of time caring about their lawns, but I, quite frankly, fail to see the point.

Iím constantly being bombarded by advertisement mailings telling me about the horrors of crabgrass, but my thinking is ďhey, at least itís grass.Ē In this respect Iím very much different from my father, a man who considers lawn care an art form bordering on religion, bordering on psychosis. If thereís one enemy my father engages in ongoing battle against, itís crabgrass.

I canít recount the number of times Iíve stood in my parentís yard, talking with my mom and dad, only to have my dad eventually, inevitably, slowly fall to kneesóas if pulled by a gravitational force only he feelsóand start pawing around the lawn, tweezering rogue crabgrass with his thumb and forefinger. The act always struck me as sort of mysterious, as if he was channeling his former life as a truffle-snuffling pig.

I suffer from no such past-life flashbacks. In my yard, crabgrass grows unchecked, outgrown only by dandelions, which havenít taken root in my dadís lawn since somewhere back in í79, which dad refers to only as ďthat incident.Ē

To underscore just how bad my lawn apparently is, my girlfriend recently had a conversation with a woman who lives up the street from us. The woman asked which house we lived in and, upon realizing the house in which we reside, the woman, quite unabashedly, stated ďoh, I know that house; that used to be the nicest lawn on the street, now itís the worst.Ē We wonít be having her over for dinner any time soon, unless weíre serving dandelion soup.

Taken by itself, that conversation might have persuaded me to take a more proactive approach with my lawn. I might have even finally called the number on all those TruGreen ChemLawn fliers that fill up my mailbox. I may have actually taken the first step down the path of becoming a crabgrass snuffler, like my father before me.

Thankfully, I was saved from that horrible fate by another neighborly encounter, this time with a woman pushing a carrier packed with three young children. Again, it was my girlfriend who actually had the encounter, as I was probably inside the house at the time doing something productive, like taking a nap.

Anyway, according to my girlfriend, the three children were a gleefully energetic bunch, clearly pleased to be out and about in the spring air. One of the children, with an adoring lilt in his voice, remarked ďlook at all the dandelions! Theyíre so pretty!Ē

And so they are.

When you really think about it, when was the last time you heard a child remark about how pretty grass is? Or how horrible crabgrass looks? But, they understand dandelions. They appreciate dandelions.

What all this comes down to is that I still donít care all that much about my lawn, but if I have to really think about who I want to impress more: my neighbors, or their children, I tend to think Iíd want to impress those who appreciate the dandelions.

If for no other reason, at least that would allow me to continue to be lazy.

Posted by Ryan at May 1, 2007 11:43 AM | TrackBack

i'm with the kids. i always enjoy a lawn full of dandelions and non-uniform grass. people who spread chemical fertlizers and pesticides all over their property (particularly people with WELLS) and spend thousands of gallons of water trying to make their lawns all perfectly green every summer are incredibly stupid, and the woman who commented about it looking the worst probably hasn't had a unique thought in bout 20 years. kudos to you and your lazy lawncare: it's actually much more evolved.

Posted by: amy.leblanc at May 1, 2007 01:27 PM

And when they go to seed, take a whole bunch and stand on the old biddy's sidewalk and blow on them. And get all the kids in the hood to help.
Then step back and watch her lose her
And also when your WHOLE yard is dandelions, it IS green.

Posted by: Donna at May 1, 2007 08:37 PM

I totally feel your pain... I have the same problem with my lawn :)

Posted by: Mario at May 9, 2007 07:52 AM
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