Sunday, August 8, 2010


"...Neither be cynical about love, for in the fact of all aridity and disenchantment, it is perennial as the grass."

- From the Desiderata (Anonymous)

It's summer and, most anytime one ventures outdoors in my neighborhood, the drone of a lawnmower can be heard somewhere. That's how people in southwestern Ontario spend their time during the summer, especially on weekends; tending their lawns.

Lawn care was never one of my favorite chores. Some people seem to enjoy it. There are some who absolutely obsess about their lawns. One elderly lady in my neighborhood spends hours literally crawling over her lawn, plucking each unwanted dandelion by hand. I swear she keeps a pair of hand clippers on her person with which she trims any blade of grass that has the audacity to stick up more than a quarter of an inch higher than its peers! Her lawn looks immaculate, to be sure! Golf courses envy her. However, I for one just can't bring myself to devote that kind of time or energy to grass. After all, it's grass! It's supposed to look after itself.

It doesn't help that I'm horticulturally challenged, to put it kindly. I actually have, in my personal library, a book entitled "Lawn Care for Dummies". Mind you, it's a fascinatingly informative book. Did you know, for instance, that Kentucky bluegrass isn't something that you play on a banjo? Who knew?

The book also goes a long way toward easing the consciences of those of us who admit to less-than-perfect lawns.

"A completely weed-free lawn is impractical, if not impossible," it consoles. "Go take a look at the best lawn in your neighborhood. Take a real close look, on your hands and knees if necessary"

(uh, scootch over a bit there, will you Mrs. Martin?)

"What do you find? Some weeds? Now back away from the lawn, and what do you see? The weeds are gone, at least to the naked eye."

Okay, let's review. What have I learned so far?

  1. Even the best lawns have weeds.

  2. If you don't look too closely, you won't even see them.

Cool! I think I can close the book right there. Just ignore the weeds. Works for me.

Wait a minute! On my lawn, I can still see the weeds, even when I back off! In fact, I think I need to get up close and personal with my lawn in order to spot the odd healthy blade of grass! Don't blame me, though. It's the government's fault.

The Ontario government irritated the heck out of many suburban home owners this year by outlawing cosmetic pesticides. In their defence, they only acted out of a concern for public health. See, chemical pesticides pose a serious health risk, especially to young children and pets. At least, Ontario's control-freak premier thinks that they might pose a serious health risk. No scientific studies have ever shown any confirmed correlation between pesticide use and health problems of any kind. I, however, can categorically state that, ever since the pesticide ban took effect, I've noted a marked improvement in the health of young dandelions and grubs all over my property.

I also have to concede that the provincial government has shown some flexibility on this issue. For example, the pesticide ban does not apply to agriculture, forestry or golf courses. So... we can't put weed killer on our lawn, because it might be unsafe, but go ahead and spray it all over the produce that goes to our supermarkets for human consumption. And, while public health is important, let's be reasonable! This is golf we're talking about! Let's keep our priorities straight, shall we?

Okay, this is starting to sound a bit "editorial" now, and I promised myself I was going to lighten up a bit this week. Reviewing my last couple of posts, this blog has been getting far too serious for my taste, lately. This is supposed to be fun!

Hey! I just found out about another cool book that I must add to my library...

No, I haven't read it yet. How'd you guess?

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