“A lawn is nature under totalitarian rule.”

Most of my flowers and all of my herbs are now planted. Only the deck flowers are still in their pots waiting for a more permanent home. After everything was planted yesterday, I saw I still need more herbs for the garden, some for the window boxes, geraniums for the deck pots and more flowers for the front. After my dump run today, I’ll go shopping.

The weatherman was right: still no sun. The rain came last night which was good for everything I’d planted. The sky is gray and the day is still damp. The leaves on the oak tree are getting bigger and darker. Maybe they sense summer coming better than I can.

When I was little, I often presented my mother with a bouquet of yellow dandelions. She was always thrilled and made a big deal of putting them in a glass of water then on the table or the windowsill. She made me feel as if I had given her the most beautiful flowers anyone had ever seen. I remember buttercups and holding one under my friend’s chin to see if she liked butter. If she did, the yellow was reflected on her. I remember blowing dandelion puffs. The field below my house was filled with them, and we’d run through, grab a few, blow and let the wind take them. They always seemed to waft gently.

I don’t remember lots of flower gardens in my neighborhood. Most people, like my father, planted a few flowers in front and none in the backyards which were filled with clotheslines and a wide hill of grass stretched across the back of where all our houses stood. Lawns were the big thing. There wasn’t an acknowledged competition, but it existed none the less. My father mowed a certain way. Every Saturday you could hear the click clack of his mower as he walked across the lawn in the particular pattern he favored. None of us ever mowed. We didn’t do it right. We’d cut the grass, but the pattern was always wrong. My father had a beautiful lawn, but he was never the winner. Mrs. Burns always was.

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8 Comments on ““A lawn is nature under totalitarian rule.””

  1. olof1 Says:

    Sunny and warm here today but very windy. I don´t complain to much because the mosquitoes blows away with it 🙂 🙂

    I´ll buy one or two more pot plants I guess and I have already ordered a hardy mulberry tree (well tree is to much to say yet though, it´s rather small 🙂 🙂 )and an Estonia grape vine called Zilga. It´s almost as hardy as the Frost grape from Your continent (that I already have here). Lots of things has dies during winter so I´ll be ordering lots of seeds this coming winter 🙂

    I too mow the lawn in a special pattern when I use the lawn mower that doesn´t have a motor. The pattern can be seen best early mornings when the dew still is on the grass. It´s impossible to make patterns with a motor driven one though.

    Have a great day!
    Christer.

    • katry Says:

      Christer,
      The day never did change-gray and damp all day. It was cold in the house as I had left the bedroom window open. Sweatshirt weather!

      I didn’t get to the garden center today but I will tomorrow as Skip is coming, and he can help with the planting.

      I love the patterns on the baseball fields-the guys who do those are artists.

  2. john Says:

    Mom and Dad had a hard enough raising we five little weeds and had no time for flowers or yard work other than yelling at us to mow the lawn. Later in her life, when we weeds fully blossomed and spread throughout the country, Mom’d plant a few flowers and herbs in our garden, which was little more than a patch of earth next to the garage where grass wouldn’t grow. She seldom cut the flowers or used the herbs, but she loved that little hardscrabble spot.
    I still have some of the family spearmint that I took to our home when Mom was in the process of selling Connell Manor. It’s now in it’s 3rd resting place in our yard. Not by any of my choice, or efforts, mind you. Spearmint has a habit of traveling around one’s yard of it’s own volition. It will thrive for a decade, then disappear for a few years and reappear in an entirely new location. I like that about spearmint. It keeps us guessing, like a drunken uncle.
    This year we added a new section of flowers in our front yard. I call it The Heap. We had a tree plagued with Maple Blight and removed it last year after deciding it should only suffer for 30 years before being put out of it’s misery. To hide the stump, we piled a 4ft mound of dirt over it and planted some Benicio del Toro Lilies to disguise the evidence. This year we decided to expand the area another 12ft to give us more room for planting – and less for me to mow. So,,,, more dirt, more mulch, more plants, more money.
    We’ve become that cute old couple putzing around in the garden. I can’t belive the amount we’ve spent of plants this year…. and can’t smoke a one of them!

    Oh,,,, I guess they’re “Stella de Oro” lilies.

    • katry Says:

      John,
      My mother was just like yours. Once we were gone, she planted her garden by the kitchen windows in the corner of the yard. It was lovely. She never picked the flowers either.

      I have lilies of the valley and violets from my mother’s house. The lilies have spread along the driveway, and I’ve put some in the backyard where I figure they’ll soon take over. The violets are everywhere, even my neighbors yard. I love having them as they remind me of my mother and father and the house. I hope the new owners have let them stay in the backyard.

      I spend so much money every year, but i have someone plant. I, the lady of the manor, stand and point and the flowers get planted. I spend so much money I don’t even want to tally.

      Once, one of those plants you can smoke grew in my backyard. Where it came from, I don’t know. It got so very tall then it disappeared. I figure someone found it.
      I love your last line!

  3. Zoey & Me Says:

    I thought those lawn competitions were rediculous, yet my father took them seriously and Jay Porterfield always won. He even had the most gorgeous cherry tree in his front yard and spent weekends keeping netting over the entire tree to keep the bugs out. Gotta say, them cherries were delicious. I also remember the weekend my Dad bought his frist John Deere riding mower. That pissed everybody off in the neighborhood.

    • katry Says:

      Z&Me,
      They were unspoken competitions in my day, and lawns were never really discussed, just fertilized, mowed and edged.

      I figure the netting is a bit over the top.

      A rider mower is like buying a thoroughbred!

  4. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    My parents’ house (now mine) had some beautiful flower beds but they were planted by the woman who had the house before them. During my childhood the flower beds succumbed to various things not the least of which was children playing in them. Only a few of the original plants remain.
    The previous owner’s mother lived next door when I was a kid and she had wonderful beds. The whole property was planted out in flowers and flowering shrubs. The property next door was sold when the old woman died. The new owner pulled out everything except evergreen foundation plants near the house and the big old pine tree. He replaced it with lawn and a vegetable garden.
    I don’t mow the lawn anymore. I have staff. 🙂

    • katry Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      Like you, I have staff. They mow and they also planted the flowers and herbs I bought. I never had flowers in front, could care less, but then my neighbors had lovely flowers, and I decided I wanted some too. It’s like a rash which, once it starts, never goes away. I don’t have enough flowers and herbs. I never think I do.

      It’s too bad the new owner pulled out the garden. It took so much love for that one to grow.


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