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Andy Whitman, I hate my yard


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#1 Buckeye Jones

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Posted 14 September 2010 - 07:36 PM

I need your neighbors help. I need your help. I wish I cared not for the grass of the field, here today, but gone tomorrow. I wish I had my eyes on heavenly things. That would help me prepare my sermon for Sunday's service.

But I don't. I have my eyes on nimblewill and crabgrass. I don't even have them on the irony in the New Pornographers (who I avoided because I thought they sang about, well, porn). Should I just spray it with round up and go with sod? Should I try to reseed yet once again, like Prince Harry, once more unto the breach!

I don't know. I'm stuck with dirt under my fingernails from pulling up yard plaintains and wild geranium. And I despair.

#2 Andy Whitman

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Posted 15 September 2010 - 08:35 AM

I need your neighbors help. I need your help. I wish I cared not for the grass of the field, here today, but gone tomorrow. I wish I had my eyes on heavenly things. That would help me prepare my sermon for Sunday's service.

But I don't. I have my eyes on nimblewill and crabgrass. I don't even have them on the irony in the New Pornographers (who I avoided because I thought they sang about, well, porn). Should I just spray it with round up and go with sod? Should I try to reseed yet once again, like Prince Harry, once more unto the breach!

I don't know. I'm stuck with dirt under my fingernails from pulling up yard plaintains and wild geranium. And I despair.

I have weeds the size of redwoods in my back yard, so I don't know. I'm thinking of Astroturf for next spring.

#3 Persona

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Posted 15 September 2010 - 09:17 AM

You both might want to try moving into a townhome. Yeah, you have to pay association fees, but you'll never worry about your lawn again. (Works for me.)

Edited by Persona, 15 September 2010 - 01:42 PM.


#4 Jim Janknegt

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Posted 15 September 2010 - 01:09 PM

Read some Wendell Berry.

#5 Rich Kennedy

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Posted 15 September 2010 - 03:42 PM

Uh, Jim. How does reading get rid of weeds the size of redwoods? I have the great brown thumb, yet weeds thrive under my watch.

Which reminds me. This is called "The Good Life". I don't see yardwork as anything connected to The Good Life. Where do we move this thread?Posted Image

Edited by Rich Kennedy, 15 September 2010 - 03:44 PM.


#6 Jim Janknegt

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Posted 15 September 2010 - 03:46 PM

Uh, Jim. How does reading get rid of weeds the size of redwoods? I have the great brown thumb, yet weeds thrive under my watch.


Perhaps reading Mr. Berry will inspire you to dig up your yard and plant a vegetable garden. But if you have a brown thumb, perhaps not. I have a vegetable garden. If we ate weeds and grasshoppers, we'd be set.

#7 Buckeye Jones

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Posted 15 September 2010 - 08:02 PM

I have a vegetable garden. I love it--I remember seeing some of Jim's tomatoes too. Andy, obviously, inspired this thread--in his blog posts he often reflects on the American suburban citizen who cares more for his perfect lawn than really getting to know his neighbor. I thought I cared for my neighbor, but I'd care for them more if they would mow more often so there weeds do not contaminate my lawn after I worked so hard on it.

#8 Darren H

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Posted 16 September 2010 - 09:50 AM

Last November, my wife and I fulfilled a long-held dream of moving out of the suburbs onto a little land, where we're now pasturing her two horses. This is not a choice I would've made on my own. In fact, if I were single, I'd probably get an apartment in a big city somewhere. But living with Joanna for nearly 15 years has given me a deep affection for horse people, who are a different breed.

So, I've gone from mowing a quarter acre with a push mower to driving (and maintaining) an 18-year-old John Deere lawn tractor, cutting 4-6 acres a week. I also put in my first vegetable garden this year. I'm glad to be away from the suburbs, where I felt more pressure to have a perfect small lawn. Instead, I'm learning how to maintain a lot of grass. It's exhausting and frustrating at times, but it's been a great lifestyle change for me. It's brought out a bit of my inner Thoreau, which had been lost during all of those hours sitting inside, watching movies.

#9 Peter T Chattaway

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Posted 16 September 2010 - 10:19 AM

My sister got married two weeks ago, and the wedding took place on a piece of land about an hour and a half outside Edmonton that my sister and her husband bought earlier this year. Back in the spring, they planted a whole bunch of vegetables, and so, at the wedding, they encouraged all the guests to harvest the garden and take whatever plants we wanted. (My brother-in-law told the guests to "rape and pillage" the garden, and I couldn't help thinking that "reap and pillage" might have been a better way to put it, but anyhoo.)

It's a great piece of land, too. It's right by a river, and my sister and her husband had created all sorts of trails and paths by the time the wedding came along. I was very impressed, and I'm looking forward to checking it out again some day, under not-so-busy circumstances.

#10 M. Leary

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Posted 16 September 2010 - 10:21 AM

I have the great misfortune of being on a corner lot. It is large, and the front sweep around the corner is a steep slope. So lots of grass that has no actual use. Drives me batty.

#11 Rich Kennedy

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Posted 16 September 2010 - 04:00 PM

The brownest thumb in the West I may have, but we finally have a decent lawn. Two words: underground sprinkler. It's perfect. My main problems with any plants are two: underwatering and overwatering. One is obviously not the solution to the other. I just never get it right. There's a bit of crabgrass, but overall, it looks excellent. Me? I like grass. It is one thing that covers a lot of area. Gardens are a lot of little things that need constant and distinctly different attention. Plus there is the "room to grow" issue that is an open invitation to weeds. You know, if stuff grew in cold weather, as opposed to intolerable heat and humidity, I'd have a bit more motivation to solve some of these problems. Just a bit.

#12 opus

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Posted 16 September 2010 - 04:22 PM

I have the great misfortune of being on a corner lot. It is large, and the front sweep around the corner is a steep slope. So lots of grass that has no actual use. Drives me batty.

And never mind the fact that folks have no compunction whatsoever with using a corner lot as the neighborhood garbage can as they drive past. Every time I mow our yard, I have to spend time picking up beer cans and bottles, discarded cigarette cartons, and other detritus.

#13 MattPage

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Posted 16 September 2010 - 04:29 PM

I'm on my third lawn mower this summer.

Matt

#14 BethR

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Posted 16 September 2010 - 07:48 PM

I'm on my third lawn mower this summer.

Matt

I have the best neighbors in the world. Whenever Mr L. gets out his riding mower, he mows my lawn as well as his. I try to keep a gallon of gas in the garage & fill his mower's tank whenever I catch him at it--sometimes he's too sneaky for me. God bless him.

(Some readers may be wondering:
  • Why can't BethR, an able-bodied, not excessively elderly person, mow her own yard? I could, except for shoulder issues that don't allow me to pull-start the push-mower I own, and budget-issues that don't allow me to buy a new mower.
  • Why doesn't BethR's husband mow the yard? Alas, he is no longer in the picture. Long story, not for this thread.)


#15 LibrarianDeb

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Posted 16 September 2010 - 09:30 PM

I love our new yard, I also love watching our lawn service mow it. Best decision we've made since moving into the place.

#16 Buckeye Jones

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Posted 16 September 2010 - 09:32 PM

(Some readers may be wondering:

  • Why can't BethR, an able-bodied, not excessively elderly person, mow her own yard? I could, except for shoulder issues that don't allow me to pull-start the push-mower I own, and budget-issues that don't allow me to buy a new mower.
  • Why doesn't BethR's husband mow the yard? Alas, he is no longer in the picture. Long story, not for this thread.)


! Alas indeed--so sorry!

#17 Christian

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Posted 17 September 2010 - 05:04 AM


(Some readers may be wondering:

  • Why can't BethR, an able-bodied, not excessively elderly person, mow her own yard? I could, except for shoulder issues that don't allow me to pull-start the push-mower I own, and budget-issues that don't allow me to buy a new mower.
  • Why doesn't BethR's husband mow the yard? Alas, he is no longer in the picture. Long story, not for this thread.)


! Alas indeed--so sorry!

Yeah, this is sad news, Beth.

#18 Rich Kennedy

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Posted 17 September 2010 - 05:38 AM

  • Why doesn't BethR's husband mow the yard? Alas, he is no longer in the picture. Long story, not for this thread.)

I'm sorry too. Thank you for stepping out and sharing this. You are important to me and to us.

#19 MattPage

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Posted 17 September 2010 - 06:36 AM

: Why doesn't BethR's husband mow the yard?
: Alas, he is no longer in the picture.

Sorry to hear that Beth.

Matt

#20 Andy Whitman

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Posted 17 September 2010 - 10:34 AM

I'm sorry to read this as well, Beth. Whatever yard woes people have are very, very minor in comparison.