Weeds are in the eye of the beholder

Last year I bought a house with a huge, beautiful yard. Quite honestly it’s probably way too big for a single working parent to sanely tackle on her own, but I’ve never been known for my sanity and I fell in love with it the moment I saw it.

I work in the professional green industry – albeit as a marketer and not a practitioner- but still I won’t insult my colleagues’ sensibilities by referring to my back yard ( or the front for that matter) as a lawn. It’s not. Hell, half of it isn’t even grass, although it does do a mighty fine impersonation for a day or two after I mow the tops off the weeds. And if you don’t look too closely.

For the sake of my professional credibility I’ll refer to it as a marginally manicured meadow, as that’s probably closer to the truth.

I’ll cop to this particular homeowner crime. I don’t fertilize. I don’t put down weed killer. I don’t water. Chalk it up to lack of time or laziness (both are partially true) but for right now I choose to let nature take care of her own.

And she does, for the most part. And every Sunday she leaves me new and wondrous surprises for my mowing pleasure. The beautiful purple blooms of wild violets. Clumps of Star of Bethlehem, which look like wild onion, only with delicate star-shaped white flowers that open and close with the sun. Some prehistoric- looking fern thing with intricately lobed rust-colored leaves that I have yet to properly identify. Snuggled along the fence line are wild strawberries with their tiny vibrant red fruits. Every week Mother Nature paints her bright canvas anew, providing me with endless visual amusement as I happily push the mower back and forth.

At first I felt like the bad neighbor, who was letting her property go as the rest maintained picture-perfect lawns. But in the end I decided to take a more zen approach. Instead of fighting against all the wild things that grow in from the creek and woods that border the property, I chose instead to notice and appreciate the natural diversity and its inherent beauty.

I’m willing to make peace with nature – as long as it doesn’t mind a weekly haircut.


Colleen Clifford

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