The Best Part of Lawn Mowing
It's begun. It's that time of year again. From now until the end of August, every week the lawn will require mowing. Mowing the back yard isn't hard. Except for detailing in the corners and a couple of other places into which I can't get the lawn tractor, it's just a question of firing up the tractor and figuring out the best route around the garden beds. I know the mines back there, the rocks and roots that can shatter the blades. I know the boggy parts that are best avoided if there's been any rain. The first time I mowed back there 5 years ago, it took me over an hour to do. Now, I can get it done in less than 30 minutes. The remaining detailing, which has to be done with the push mower takes about the same. And then it's done. For another 5 days to a week.
The front yard is harder. It has to be done with the push mower. The areas are small and difficult to manoeuver in. The mower is heavy for me, and there are steep berms the mower needs to be dropped down and then pulled back up. More than once, my feet have slipped out from under me while pulling the mower back up. And all summer long, when it's hot, I invariably get seriously overheated when mowing the front.
Right now, though, we are at the end of a perfect spring day. It never hit 60 here. The sun was out most of the day. The daffodils, hyacinths, and forsythia have died off, but the lilacs and some of the lilies are starting. The plenaria are in bloom, and though they are wild and invasive, I love them. Every year, there are new and different wild flowers -- some might call them weeds, but I welcome them and will think of them as wild flowers. Last year, a low growing pretty plant started to grow up the side of a big stump. It has a small blue flower, and while it stays low, it climbs up and around rocks and stumps and even the fence. It's not a vine. It grows low and full, but it seems to climb and fill in spaces that beg for a flower. I have no idea what it is. If you know, let me know.This year, there's much more of it than there was last year, and I'm going to try and transplant some of it and move it out front. Because my friend Kevin has promised to solve the problem of mowing the berms for me. He's turning that part of the front yard into a rock garden. Whatever these things are, with the way they hug rocks and stumps, I think they'll look really pretty in a rock garden.
While that work has yet to be fully begun, he's dug out and around some of my land mines out back and created a pretty little rock garden there, too, which will be easy to mow around. And in the back, where there are large beds that have finally been cleared of the awful, invasive wild rose, he's planted some blueberries for me.
I think it will all look very pretty when he's done, And it'll certainly be welcome to have the mowing out front made easier, and the detailing around the land mines out back eliminated, or at least reduced. The work's not done. There's still planting to be done, and mulch to be put down. But the idea is there, and I love it.
I can already see that these improvements are going to make shorter work of mowing. And that is a very good thing. Because the very best part of mowing the lawn is being done with it. It's the time when I most enjoy walking around or sitting in the yard. The added enjoyment this evening was that it was cool enough to sit out there with a book, a cup of tea, and the dogs. Crow and Hudson both seem to enjoy rolling around in the grass after its been mown. Tonight, I further enriched the experience for them by digging around in the freezer for a couple of shank bones I knew I had in there. They enjoyed them al fresco while I enjoyed my book.
It's not a bad way to finish a day, reading, sipping tea, enjoying the mixed fragrance of freshly mown grass and blooming lilacs. No. In fact, it's a very good way to end the day.