Monday, May 9, 2011

A Difference in Philosophy

Our yard is never going to win us any awards for "Suburbanites of the Year."  As you can see above, I have a patch of violets that blooms every spring.  Clover grows outside the garden, often distracting the bunnies for a bit and keeping them (temporarily, alas) out of my tomatoes.  Wild strawberries grow everywhere, showing off pretty red berries.  We eat the young dandelions, and just this weekend I discovered a small patch of low-growing, white flowers that were so pretty. 

However, this means that our yard is not an uninterrupted swath of evenly-textured, supremely manicured blue grass or the like.  Don't get me wrong: we mow.  I think it is an implicit agreement (actually, backed by law around here) that if you live in a suburb, you need to keep your lawn under control, and that means mowing.  However, I hate to "weed and feed," because that would destroy my little patches of flowers and edible greens, all while dumping a load of nitrogen and herbicides on our yard to run into our gardens and ultimately into the groundwater. 

However, I missed the discussion on this topic the other day when I was at the gym and Mr. FC&G answered the door to find a representative from a local lawn service who saw the dandelion fluff in our yard (it had rained for a week, mind you) and thought we were ideal candidates for a little chemical treatment.

"I can make your yard look a lot thicker," he told Mr. FC&G.  Being a kinder soul than I, Mr. FC&G refrained from pointing out that the last thing we needed after a month of near-daily rain was a lawn that grows faster and thicker.

"It's a difference of philosophy," Mr. FC&G said.  "We like our violets and our clover, and we don't want to put chemicals down to get rid of them."

Undeterred, the rep pulled out his trump card:  "But what about all of these dandelions?"

Mr. FC&G thanked him and sent him on his way.  The poor rep is lucky I wasn't home.  I would have told him, in regards to dandelions, "that's not a weed, son, that's a crop!"

The Analysis

Fast:  Skipping that weed and feed step certainly is a time-saver.

Cheap:  It also saves a ton of money.

Good:  It is, indeed, a difference of philosophy.  Yes, we live in the suburbs, and we mow.  But there is no reason that we can see to force a grass to live in monoculture when there are so many lovely "weeds" that are doing no harm by growing in our yard.  I'll pick my violets, enjoy my clover, and eat my dandelions. 
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  1. Wow, you have a law that says you have to mow?

    I agree with you that it is a difference of philiosophy. A weed is only something that you don't want. We also eat some of our what my hubby thinks are weeds, he jsut needs more education :)

  2. Yeah, KJ, it is a lovely thing. If you don't mow around here, you get the little orange sign posted in your yard that says the city or county or township or someone gives you X number of days to mow or they will send a crew over and bill you.

    Good for you for doing some yard-based foraging!