Tuesday, July 30, 2013

It's Not Easy Being Green

The beginning of June usually marks the start of peak growth season. I had just put down an initial bed of mulch around my three front flower beds and the perennial bed I planted last year. And then I broke my leg and it rained and turned hot. Things grew. And grew.

Larry is the anti-lawnmower man. As in, he hates to mow. In the 10+ years I’ve known him, I’ve never seen him use the lawnmower. It was part of his incentive to rototill the entire yard and plant wildflower seed when he first bought the house. It’s been successful in varying degrees. The front of the house has fared the best, with really beautiful growth, but last year the backyard bore more grasses and weeds than anything.

Regardless, I've always mowed my little paths through the jungle - across the front of the 
Front yard flowers - my perennial
bed is in there somewhere
house and around the gardens, which gave things some semblance of order and neatness. Last year I put paver stones around two of the front flower beds and erected little pioneer fences behind my perennial grasses and the new perennial flower bed.

But this year I've been stuck in a chair watching the grass grow. And the weeds grow. With no taming in sight. Larry had his hands full helping me out, taking care of everything house-wise and working. I didn’t have the heart to whine to him about the yard.  He enjoys his vegetable gardens; the rest of the yard, who cares?

This spring Larry bought a 4' brush hog attachment for the tractor for the back pastures. It sat next to the barn, waiting for its maiden voyage into the back 40.

As the yard grew exponentially with the rain and angst began to show on my face, Larry  
Stupid chicken! Get out
of my flower bed!
offered to mow around the house – with the brush hog.

I didn’t want to seem unappreciative. I didn’t want to discourage him. But I could not quite visualize how this would work. A 4’ brush hog really isn’t destined for footpaths around the house. It's not a finesse tool. I had visions of everything within a 50’ radius of the house being mascerated, with flower heads flying everywhere.

Larry hooked the brush hog up to the tractor and started it up. I heard him drive behind the house, put the brush hog in gear, and lumber along with the occasional hair-raising sounds of rocks being chiseled. The man was undaunted.

He came around the side of the house, by the garden. He got close to the fence, mowed the high vegetation there. But he never came around to the front of the house.

An hour later, the tractor went quiet and Larry appeared, sweaty and with little green bits of vegetation sticking to him. "Well," he said, "That was kinda like using a 20 pound sledge to hammer in a finishing nail."

Back garden

Minutes later, to my shock, I heard the lawnmower rev up, and he made a very quick pass across the front of the house. This weekend, he weed-whacked along the back garden fence, which was all but invisible behind tall grass. He spent hours weeding in his gardens, making the wonderful vegetables he grows suddenly stand out and shine.  I managed to get on my hands and knees Saturday and weeded three of the flower beds, which was very satisfying.

Front garden

Things are still a little rough and shaggy looking, but as Larry says, "Hey, it's the Adirondacks."


  1. Yes, it's the Adirondacks. Be thankful you're not just looking at rocks. :) I weeded what's left of my herb and vegetable beds today. Darn grasshoppers.

  2. Love his try with the largest tool first - I love my yard after I've mowed. Life sure is filled with little compromises.