Turf wars result in quick surrender

Ah, spring — that magical time of warm sun and gentle breezes coaxing grass, trees, plants and flowers to shake off the torpor of winter and get back to the business of growing and blooming.

Now if I could just do the same. The shaking off the torpor part, not the growing and blooming part.

I am not exactly bursting with enthusiasm for spring, is what I’m trying to say.

It gets down to this: All that stuff with grass and trees and flowers and plants requires yard work, and I hate yard work.

Oh, I’ve tried to like it. I’ve tried to be like my neighbors, who work all 48 hours of every weekend in the spring and as a result have perfectly manicured lawns and splendiferous gardens.

Yes, I said splendiferous. It means showily impressive; and believe me, some of these petunia patches are that and more. There’s a guy on my street whose whole front yard is filled, edge to edge, with spring flowers, and it is a traffic-stopper. And the way people drive on my street, that is saying something.

So I’ve followed suit with the feeding and the weeding and the seeding and you know what? It doesn’t work with me. Not only do I not enjoy it, I don’t get good results no matter how hard I work at it.

I don’t have a lawn. I have a yard, but not much of one. It’s a few clumps of grass here and there with generous sprinklings of weeds in between. As for flowers, I really should start propagating dandelions since they’re the ones who seem to thrive at my place. And besides, you can eat the greens.

(This is where I have to admit a little bias: Because I come from a long line of farmers, I have something of an attitude about growing things you can’t eat, such as flowers. There’s part of me that thinks it’s a complete waste of time. That same part of me will also lavish all sorts of care on tomato plants and radish seedlings, however.)

About the only time I get excited about yard work is when I buy a new lawnmower, which will probably happen next year, according the pattern. What pattern is that?

The pattern of someone stealing my lawnmower every couple of years. I have some neighbors, you see, who do not share my beliefs about the private ownership of movable property.

I thought about ditching the mower altogether and declaring my yard a tallgrass prairie, but the neighborhood association had other ideas.

Seems we have a maximum grass height ordinance around here. I tried to explain that most of what I grow is not grass (see above under weeds, generous sprinkling of). No sale.

I know what you’re thinking: “Sheesh, just hire a lawn service.”

I’ve thought about it. But it won’t work because I’ll feel incredibly guilty for spending money on something I ought to be doing myself.

I know this because I hired a service last autumn to do the fall yard work, and it took me weeks to stop beating myself up over the expense.

So … off with the torpor, I guess. The grass is getting kind of tall; and the mower, unfortunately, has not been stolen. Better get to work. Don’t look for anything splendiferous, though.