Thursday, 10 June 2010

Mowing moves

I may not have very green fingers but today I certainly have green toes – a result of mowing the lawn in open-toe sandals.
It has been said that “A perfect summer day is when the sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, the birds are singing, and the lawn mower is broken. ” Ours however, is in perfect working condition.
Well, we should be thankful for that, I suppose, because in our battle to beat the moss, we fertilized the lawn, and the grass is now sprouting at record speed. It has to be trimmed at least twice a week. That is normally Hubby’s job but since he was busy doing other things, the task was appointed to me – after long deliberation about whether I could cut it, so to speak.
You see; my lawn mowing skills are not exactly up to Hubby’s rigorous standard. First of all I don’t empty the grass box often enough, it seems. Secondly, and more important, I don’t follow the rules of direction. I mow a little here and then a little there and I find it easier to go around in concentric circles rather then back and forth. This makes Hubby cringe. According to him, proper English lawns should apparently have very straight lines. He even pulled out a book his father had sent us to show me pictures.
However, although I personally don’t see the point of having rules for cutting grass, I’m willing to go along with the idea that there is such a thing as the right way to do it. After all, Hubby is completely unable to see the point of folding towels correctly, even though there is obviously a right way to do that. (Into thirds and then into thirds again - of course. Unless it’s a bath towel, where you fold it double first.)
Anyway, after this theoretical introduction to the topic I was taken outside to be given a practical demonstration – down in a straight line, then turn and come back, overlapping the last cut ever so slightly. Then he proceeded to do the edges around the whole garden twice. Only when he saw that I was getting so impatient that I was about to walk off and leave the whole thing to him, was I finally entrusted with the lawnmower.
He remained standing for a minute to supervise, before a hostile glare from me sent him scuffling around to the other side of the house.
I will let you in on a secret: I do actually know how to mow the lawn. I can do it beautifully. It’s just that I like it better when Hubby does it, so I fake a little ignorance and let him feel that he does it sooo much better than me. But don’t worry, it’s not like I’m taking advantage of him. This technique works both ways. I’m pretty sure that deep down he knows how to fold towels.
I may not have concealed my skills well enough today though, because after I was done he complemented me on a job well done. Dang.

PERFECTLY MANICURED. Our garden with more or less straight mowing stripes.

IN FULL BLOOM. Our rhododendron bush looks fantastic at the moment.

There was never a sound beside the wood but one,
And that was my long scythe whispering to the ground.
What was it it whispered? I knew not well myself;
Perhaps it was something about the heat of the sun,
Something, perhaps, about the lack of sound—
And that was why it whispered and did not speak.
It was no dream of the gift of idle hours,
Or easy gold at the hand of fay or elf:
Anything more than the truth would have seemed too weak
To the earnest love that laid the swale in rows,
Not without feeble-pointed spikes of flowers
(Pale orchises), and scared a bright green snake.
The fact is the sweetest dream that labor knows.
My long scythe whispered and left the hay to make.

Robert Frost

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