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Ramble with Storm: Sanctimonious Sunday

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Mulling things on my morning ramble with Storm, the family's mixed Lab, albeit posting late.


I can be a sanctimonious ass with the best.

And few things get me to saddle up my high horse like using my push reel mower.

OK, if you have a half-acre lawn, I understand a gas-guzzling mower. But then I would probably wonder why have a lawn that big and would suggest fruit trees, gardens, or even a small prairie would be a better idea.

But I drift.

Using a push reel mower does a multitude of things for me.

First, it doesn't use gas, something we should be avoiding at all costs. From that, I generate a good bit of sanctimony, and feel good about it.

Second, it is good exercise, especially for somebody like me, who spends a good chunk of time sitting at a desk, like most of us.

While we're on lawns, let me just go at it.

When did it become important to have only a couple sorts of grass in the American lawn?

Actually, that is a rhetorical question. It was post-war, the big one.

Since then the idea is pushed by seed companies and lawn-care businesses that the proper lawn should be this monochrome, monotone, mono-length and, yes, monotonous sameness.

This topic just gets me rolling.

If you mow your lawn and let the clippings fall back, the proper lawn will take care of itself for years without the introduction of fertilizers and chemicals.

Especially if your lawn is more than one sort of grass.

A lawn, for instance, is a lot more interesting, both in texture and visually, with mixes of grasses, say even white clover in it.

I nearly put my fist through the radio the other day when an ad came on suggesting that a special lawn care product was needed to take care of clover.

You gotta be kidding me.

Unless you're Roger Bossard putting in the sod at Sox Park or Wrigley Field, clover is a wonderful addition to a lawn. It adds variety in shape and color.

Sheez, why should a backyard ideally look like a ball field designed by Bossard?

There is no good reason. None.

The monotonous dark-green sameness pounded into our skulls in ads is idiotic. There are other ways to wonderful backyards.

Otherwise, you end up with obsession like this, a guy using four mowers to perfectly cut his lawn.

At least he is using four push mowers.

I just want to find my place in the scheme of things and fit there. And, if I get to feel a little sanctimonious about it, behind my push reel mower, so much the better.

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My idea of proper lawn care is to have my teenaged son cut it when my wife thinks it finally needs to be cut. I don't worry about what is growing as long as it's some shade of green, it doesn't even to be grass.

I'm not putting any resources into the "perfect lawn" especially when such perfection is described by those who have a vested commercial interest in it.

I would rather spend my time and financial resources on fishing, cleaning the river, stream monitoring, habitat work and other conservation work including sitting on many committees and attending Conservation Congress.

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This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on April 11, 2010 4:38 PM.

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