Monday, April 20, 2009

Scrofulous Lawn

Why is it that I can grow flowers, but not grass? I put time, money, and energy into gardening. And my flower gardens look great (except for what the drought killed). My roses, lilies, tulips, etc., all bloom happily. I give the yard just as much attention: roto-tilling, grass seed, water, fertilizers, weed killers, mowing, even hand weeding when necessary. And how does my grass reward me? By growing only in the flower beds.

I have to admit that I take it as a personal affront. If I can convince recalcitrant orchids to come into flower, why can’t I get grass to grow? Is this supposed to be some sort of humbling process to rid me of my green-thumb hubris? If so, I admit it, I can’t get my grass to grow. So, is that good? Will it grow now?

I don’t think so. Here’s the thing that’s even weirder. I’ve been known to dig up a nice patch of green grass growing in my flower beds and transplant it into the yard. I even do it in the spring rain to avoid damaging/drying out the roots. Imagine me slogging through the mud, rain dripping off my baseball cap, digging up tufts of grass and replanting them in the middle of the yard. I consider it a job well done until the next morning. When I go out to check on the plugs of grass, they are shriveled and brown. How does this happen? It was a great mystery to me. Until…

This morning I had a revelation while I was showering (I have all my great thoughts while washing my hair). I know why the grass dies. Last year we had a lush emerald green carpet for two months, and then it one day it was a disaster. Cal and I couldn’t figure out what happened. But now I know. During the middle of the night, lawn care companies looking for new accounts troll the cities spraying Round-up and tossing fungus spores on people’s lawns. Then the next week they come by and spread seeds of nutgrass, crab grass, Devil grass, and the infamous dandelion. A couple of weeks later when your beautiful lawn is now a wasteland of weeds and disease, they leave a flyer on/in your mailbox (which is illegal) advertising their services.

But I’m on to them now. It’s only a matter of time before I catch them in their nefarious schemes. But that would mean staying up late for days—and I need my sleep. Maybe I can be content with a scrofulous yard. Besides I can always blame the lawn care people.


  1. "scrofulous"? Thank you, Commie, for stretching my vocabulary. Webster def #2: "morally tainted". I guess you have a nasty lawn.

  2. Hmm...perhaps you should have told us that leaving flyers on mailboxes was illegal before we passed out flyers for church--Dad told us to hang the flyers on mailboxes where possible. Oops.

  3. I have a solution....just give up on the grass and turn your whole lawn into a garden and be done with it!!!! the world can't have too many flowers.