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All is fair in yard work and war

I am at war with my lawn. Every spring around this time you can find me staring out the window into the back yard, eyeballing how fast the grass is growing. This year with another nonwinter under our belts, the grass turned green rather quickly, puffing itself out into unmanageable tufts that I might need a scythe to cut. Itís several days into April, and had it not been for the rain, I wouldíve hauled my lawn mower into the offending area and brawled it out.

My husband tells me, ďHoney, for someone who despises working outside, you worry more about it than anyone else.Ē

I canít say heís wrong because Iím building up the work that needs done in my mind, thinking about each spot in the yard that I know by heart. I know just where there are slight indents that can make you trip, and I can see where that stubborn weed is growing already. I make it bigger than it is. Telling me to suck it up and get it done doesnít help. Iíll do it no matter what, but it doesnít mean Iíll like it.

If I had the money, I would make my entire backyard a courtyard like I experienced in Mexico: tile and brick intertwining in small paths and walkways, scrubby shrubs that need no maintenance, and no grass in sight. There would be a portico and random cement statues placed sporadically in and around the drought-resistant plants. I would buy that Sasquatch statue Iíve coveted and position him just right so it looks like heís moving around mysteriously.

It would be a lush garden that takes care of itself, which would enable me to move away from watching the grass grow. Maybe I need to move out west, where this type of garden would thrive.

There are many that find gardening relaxing, the moving of dirt and bulbs and the raking up of twigs and leaves that have lost their way. Even weeding is something that garden-lovers donít mind as they dig on their hands and knees, pulling deep until the stray weed in question is gone for good. I never got that gene, and every time I go outside to work I wonder why the plants and bushes seem to have multiplied.

I would much rather take up residence on a soft patio chair with many garden containers situated around me because I love container gardening. I think itís the small space, the structure and limited area that let you plant small green things, knowing they wonít grow out of control.

Iíve collected a plethora of pots that hold a diverse eco-world of plants where I never tire of tweaking the leaves and popping off the heads of plants needing pruned. Container gardening is a world unto itself and doesnít require you to get on your hands and knees, exasperating the inner nongardener to the point of giving up.

I will always take care of my garden, the day lilies and hostas blending together in a pleasing array. For the first time, last summer, I hired someone to come in and weed my garden, the small total of dollars I paid a balm for my mind where the weeds used to take up residence.

I forgave myself for feeling such joy and relief, my Mennonite heritage showing through. We are known for our gardens, profuse flowers and tidy beds straining the heads of passersby on the road. We also are known for our humility, and my feeling of profuse joy at my gardens being weeded not by my own hands, well, it took a bit of time to understand that it was OK.

Iím still at war with my lawn. Youíll find me outside mowing it weekly, watching the neat and tidy lines appear, allowing my brain to rest easy and know that itís done for another week. Thinking about the work at hand is worse than doing the work. Besides, the quicker itís done, the quicker I can put my feet up on the back patio and dream a little more.

Published: April 7, 2017
New Article ID: 2017704079987