The Green Green Grass of Home
by Bella Rum
Springtime Falling on the Cul-de-sac
It does look like spring and it’s beginning to feel like spring – 80º today and 88° tomorrow. It’s prettying up outside, and H’s grass is gorgeous. This is suburbia at it’s most enticing. It’s what causes confirmed urbanites to check out the schools, absorb an hour commute and pack up the kids and spouse. It isn’t exactly Green Acres but more like Green .33 acres.
Folks around here spend an inordinate amount of time perseverating about the watering and feeding of their lawns. It’s like owning a goldfish but more demanding. As soon as spring weather settles in, a cul-de-sac-wide hum emerges as neighbors begin that suburban bonding ritual of exchanging yard maintenance advice over backyard fences, a sound surpassed only by the roar of lawnmowers on Saturday morning. I fully expect to hear someone exclaim through a megaphone, “Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines.”
Who knew how stressful this stuff could be? There ‘s an endless list of concerns that induce beautiful lawn angst: fertilizers, fungicides, seeding, aerating, weed-killing, pre emergent herbicides, spider mites, cankerworms, grubs, moles, etc. The list is endless. Do you know that one of the most viewed posts on this site is about grubs? No, really. Do you know how much thought some people give to grub-killing? A lot. One of them lives with me. I think grubs are single-handedly responsible for the popularity of Xanax and Zoloft wherever you find well mulched, emerald-green .33 acre lots.
While I find grass to be a ridiculously demanding pursuit that will only end in tears and gnashing of teeth, I do have my own obsessions – flowers and vegetables. What can I say? If I’m going to plant it, water it and fertilize it, it better be delicious or produce a beautiful bloom. Anyway, our lawn looks like somebody lives here who knows what they’re doing, but I’m not kidding when I tell you that by mid-July it will look like the yard of a deranged recluse. Something will happen: grubs, dollar spot, nutgrass, wire grass, chickweed, and on and on. It’s a heartbreaker every year. It’s like waiting for the same relative to die over and over again or holding out hope that a novel you’ve read before will have a different ending this time. Tragic beyond all reasoning is the pursuit of a perfect lawn.