“A lawn is nature under totalitarian rule.”

Today is damp and misty. It is supposed to rain later this afternoon and tomorrow. My landscaper is weeding my garden right now and getting it ready for plants. I’ll be buying them on Wednesday and also the herbs and flowers for my deck planters. Today I have a long list of places I need to go but they’re all within a mile of each other so I don’t have any complaints.

I filled all the bird feeders and the bird baths yesterday. I also put out a new oriole feeder for grape jelly, but I don’t know if the orioles are around yet. I have another new feeder yet to be hung with two bowls so the orioles will get their jelly and some orange nectar. I have a new hummingbird feeder which is also a suncatcher. That will go out a bit later. I’m running out of branches and using poles won’t help as the deck is too high to see them. Maybe there are some I can attach to the deck. I’ll have to do some hunting.

My father planted pansies, geraniums or marigolds in the front garden of my childhood home. That was the only spot for flowers. The sides and middle of the garden also had a few bushes which came with the house. Two fir trees were on the side lawn. The backyard was for the clothes line. His lawn was always beautiful. I think the fathers of the neighborhood gauged their manliness by the quality of their lawns. Some of the yards had lawns filled with weeds and brown spots of dirt, and the fathers who lived there were the objects of disdain.

When I was older and my parents had bought their own house, my father gave guided tours of his lawn. I always armed myself with appropriate adjectives when I was taken on the tour. Every year he’d asked, “Isn’t this the best lawn?” Every year I’d answer yes.

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

  1. olof1 Says:

    Hot hot hot over here today. My thermometer showed 81 as warmest today and that is very unusual this time of year. I could see how clouds built up to become thunderclouds but the wind started to blow and blew them away, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it came back later.

    My grandfather liked straight lines, as the military he was :-). He planted straight rows with gladiolus and roses and then my grandmother came and destroyed everything for him by planting all kinds of flowers all over his flower beds 🙂 🙂 🙂 I’m very much my grandmother i that way 🙂 🙂 🙂 He too was very proud of his lawn!

    Out here most of us is happy as long as the lawn is short and green, but my closest neighbor really wants a weed and moss free lawn. It is a loosing battle I’m afraid. We have huge fields just outside our garden filled with dandelions and thistles 🙂 🙂 🙂

    I wish we had birds like Your Oriole and hummingbirds over here, but we do have the Cuckoo bird instead 🙂 For many years e also had a starling that sounded just like a cuckoo clock 🙂 🙂

    Have a great day!
    Christer.

    • katry Says:

      Christer,
      It was damp all day today. Right now it is 57° but the dampness makes it feel warmer.

      I like having a nice lawn but I don’t do any of the work. My landscaper takes care of the lawn. Today he dropped by to say it needed fertilizer to get rid of the clover. That makes me happy as the rabbits have been by to eat the clover, and they drive Gracie crazy.

      I’d love to have a cuckoo though the orioles are beautiful and the hummmingbird is amazing.

  2. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    My lawn is au naturel. There is mostly grass and whatever else that wants to grow there as long as it’s green. Most of it also has pretty flowers. The “garden” is also whatever wants to grow there. Right now it’s vicious roses, grapes, the mystery bush, skunk cabbage, pinks, tiny trees, jewelweed, black raspberries and miscellaneous other flowery weeds. It’s lovely and the wildlife thinks it’s tasty. 🙂
    When my parents first got the house there were all sorts of lovely things planted in the yard. The previous owners were gardeners. There was a huge English cottage style garden, the black walnut trees and lots of apple and cherry trees. Hurricanes took out the fruit trees and my dad took out the flower beds for more lawn and a vegetable garden. Only the black walnuts, the mystery bush and the peonies remain.
    I saw orioles at my lake two weeks ago so they should be around your area as well.
    Enjoy!

    • katry Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      I’ll have to keep an eye on the feeders to see if the orioles find the jelly, nad I’ll put out the new feeder tomorrow.

      I never used to have a garden, but when I had the house redone I decided a garden would make it perfect. People actually tell me what a lovely garden I have, and that blows me away.

      My mother had a graden right by the kitchen windows. Maggie, my Boxer at the time, used to push the gate and go in. That drove my mother crazy. We used to tell her a huge brown bird was in her garden.

  3. Zoey & Me Says:

    Sounds like my old neighbor and his cherry tree. People would come from miles around to see him harness a net on this enormous tree to save the cherries from bugs. Neighbors would get bushels of cherries, so many, my Mom would give half of hers away. We had plenty but you couldn’t visit Mr Porterfield without touring his Cherry Tree. Many times I was at a loss for words.

    • katry Says:

      Z&Me,
      Cherry trees are just so beautiful when they’re in bloom. None of the ones around here actually give fruit. They just give color.

  4. Bill S. Says:

    Kat:
    Here in NH we have been warned to remove our birdfeeders (or at least don’t fill them) until next Dec. There have been bears at the feeders lately; we have a friend who had a bear on her back porch (she had video), and another who had one in her backyard. That bear climbed over a 6-foot wooden fence, breaking two top boards; when it left did it go out the same way? Noooo–it went over another two boards and broke those as well.

    We have planted some flowers around this year, but we usually wait until after Memorial Day–chance of frost. This past weekend we were in the pool, and I had the heater cranked up to 80. I hope we have at least 3 more months of this weather!

    • katry Says:

      Bill,
      I saw the bears at the feeders on the news one night. It was in NH and there was a mother and two cubs dining al fresco.

      The books say in our regions that May 31 is the last day of possible frost but I never pay attention, most people don’t. I have planted a few flowers and my tomatoes went in today.

      It wasn’t the best weather day today.

  5. Bob Says:

    My father was also a lawn aficionado and never missed an opportunity to point out to friends and the neighbors how his lawn was as thick and even as a green carpet. He worked every Saturday morning from eight until lunch time mowing, edging, fertilizing and taking care of the shrubs around the perimeter of the house and around the back yard. He hired a contractor pour concrete narrow sidewalks around the house to keep the grass out of the shrub beds. My dad always told me that this was his form of exercise and he would sweat profusely in the summer heat.

    The lawn was 100% St. Augustine which grows in runners and when thick can choke out any weeds. He would push his rotary power mower in long rows to keep the grass at the ideal height. This green expanse in around the house was his pride and joy.

    Today the weather in North Texas is ______ and _____ (Just fill in the blanks from yesterday).

    • katry Says:

      Bob,
      My father too used a rotary mower. He swore it did the best job of mowing than the power ones. He used to sit on the front steps in the morning with his newspaper and coffee overlooking his lawn. Once I volunteered to mow but he said I wouldn’t do it right-he meant in rows and right beside each other.

  6. MT C Says:

    Yup, the lawns of yesteryear were absolutely the best for sitting under the trees, games of catch or the ever feared lawn darts as well as the ‘hammer and balls’ game my son used to love. Lawns thick and lush were the best. In our little town, most of the lawns and flower gardens were mostly half hearted attempts. I know our lawn was, but the flower gardens at our house were off limits to the kids and the subject of great pride by my parents. If a ball strayed in, it was gone. If a pet did the same, it got smacked, just the same as us kids got.

    When we got old enough for chores, the outside work changed. More flower gardens went in and the weed duties fell to us.I hated it. It would take me forever to ‘approval’ needed to move on to the next little patch. it was sheer torment, until I got old enough to use the mower. Then I took over from my older brother and my Saturday cartoons were exchanged for the 400 mile walk behind the mower. It seemed like 400 anyway.

    Now here in the world great sand box, there are still lawns. Put in by proud (and a sign of wealth) owners and cared for carefully by ‘The Harris’. Every villa has one, a Harris that is, a grounds keeper. Well, actually more of a property keeper as he’s expected to clean all the common areas, outside areas, and do all the maintenance (or oversee the maintenance). And for 10KD (about $36) he will get up at 3am, if necessary, and get your car ready to go for the day, all washed and shinny. Some of these guys are really good, some are not. And the ambitious ones or ones supporting large families, will have three or four places they take care of. Where the term “The Harris” came from, no one seems to really know. But to me it sounds like a bit of legacy that the English might have left behind, when they gave up rule of this piece of their world.

    Carl

    • katry Says:

      Carl,
      My dad was a lawn fanataic and part of his lawn had a small hill. I used to ride my bike across the lawn and down the hill. I always got caught because he’d see the tire marks in the grass. I couldn’t resist that neat hill though even knowing my dad would yell.

      My dad always believed he was the only one who knew how to mow the grass correctly. If mowed incorrectly, it looked awful, according to my dad. The lines had to be exact and the route across the lawn the same each time. We were happy with that-no mowing for us!

      I find the name ‘The Harris’ really interesting, and I can hear someone with an aristocratic English accent say, “Call the man to come to tend to the car; you know the Harris man.”


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