Saturday, March 24, 2012

It's spring!

First crocus of the spring
Something got into me last fall and I bought around 200 spring bulbs. This was unusual for me because I have a love/hate relationship with landscaping. I want things to look nice but I dislike the entire concept of a lawn. I see a flat, perfectly cut grassy monoculture to be gigantic waste of time, money and energy and my lawn shows it. It's patchy, generally scruffy looking, and full of weeds and moss but it's also full of life. Insects and spiders of all sorts and a large number of monarch butterflies, since I mow around all the milkweed that pops up.

But back to 200 bulbs. Historically, I have not been a very outdoorsy person, especially not the dirt-under-fingernails variety. For most of my life, "outside" was the giant room with the bright light and the blue ceiling. It started looking more and more like a bad decision with all the work required to dig out sections of lawn or restoring neglected flower beds. It was certainly more work than repotting some plants and remembering to water them. It look a few weekends and some more weeknights, but I did it. I got them all in the ground before the first frost and some areas even look halfway decent. Now everything is coming up - crocuses, tulips, daffodils, giant alliums, leucojums, and hyacinths. I'm practically giddy checking what's popped up overnight or during the day. I have spring fever!

A good book on the history and ridiculousness of the lawn is The Lawn: A History of an American Obsession. It influenced my attitude towards the lawn and got me a bunch of dirty looks from certain suburban types on the commuter rail.

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