As a single mum with a full-time job, a commute, a house, and two girls in soccer, you can imagine that my schedule is, well, a little on the full side. And one thing that often gets ignored is the
And really, to call it a lawn is to besmirch the word 'lawn'. (The fictional motive I created for the murder in CSI: Carp, episode 1 is totally believable to anyone who has actually seen my lawn.) After
Pricky things that I step on when I go to retrieve toys off the lawn barefoot after dark 10%
Clumps of daisies and violets that I am forced to mow around or the girls cry 2%
Weird plant that resembles the unholy offspring of Devil's Snare and a mutant blackberry bush that send up shoots into the lawn from its lair under the pool 1%
Not exactly the stuff of golf greens. My real-life neighbour has a lush carpet of emerald perfection that just mocks my poor excuse for a lawn. I used to worry about it. I used to worry that if I didn't get around doing something about the weeds or mowing the lawn on time, then all my property would need would be an old washing machine in the back yard and a rusted out pickup on blocks in the driveway to look like it was inhabited by people named Cletus and Brandine.
But the time involved in trying to make my lawn into something resembling Glen Abbey is not something I have any intention of spending. And really, unbroken expanses of green are a little boring. Dandelions are cheerful. And so are the violets and occasional johnny-jump-up that have colonized the grass in the back yard.
I started thinking about how to make the most of what's growing there now. Hmmmm, if the planned LCBO strike happens, I have the raw materials to brew up enough dandelion wine to keep most of Carp happy through the summer. And plantain is an amazing natural remedy for bee stings -- you pick some leaves and chew them up and then put the wad of chewed up leaf and spit on the sting site, and it relieves the pain. According to my calculations, if the girls get stung by 18 bees/wasps per child per day for the summer, then I'll be able to use up most of it. Mind you, I might get a bit tired of chewing up plantain and/or run out of spit before hitting the 18-sting mark.
So, I do what I can in the mowing department, fitting it in around soccer practices and games, pool maintenance and laundry, grocery shopping and dentist appointments, trips to the library and the splash pad. I don't worry about how much of the lawn is really weeds, because a having perfect weed-free lawn is not as important as all the other good stuff going on. And as my neighbour Chris told me: "If you mow it short, it all looks like grass anyway."