June 14, 2010

I Should Mow the Lawn, but...

how can I lop off the wildflowers/weeds sprinkled brightly through the grass, adding little bursts of color to the background of green, creating a wildflower meadow out of a more mundane backyard?

The red-orange Indian paintbrush (what it's called around here, though nothing like the Western flower of that name), yellow buttercups, yellow something else that looks similar to dandelion, red clover, daisies, vetch, and even some wild columbine, are so intensely cheerful in their nonchalant lounging about. The colors and textures seem woven like a complex tapestry, where to remove a thread will unravel the entire picture. But, I must mow my disheveled lawn: maybe tomorrow, definitely by the weekend....


  1. so what happens if you let it be a field instead of a lawn -or is this a question only a person surrounded by concrete would ask.

  2. This is the benefit of blogging: you captured the flower field on film so now you can keep the memory and cut the grass! And I can tell Rappel that we are still fighting unwanted invasive flowers (think daisies) from the time when we let our lawn go wild to see what a prairie lawn would feel and look like.

  3. rappel, I've got acres of fields, so don't need one in the backyard. Also, the long grassy, flowery lawn hides the flower borders and eventually offends my sense of order. There's something very pleasant about a newly mowed lawn.

    Linda, I've got so many invasives everywhere. My lawn is more weed than grass, but as long as it's green, it's ok with me. I agree with you that now that the flowers have been documented, it's time to get out and mow.

  4. Yes, take a few more pictures and then use the mower to carve a great swooping curve or two across the lawn. Leave it a day, then do another few curves - cut a new swath a day. Overlap.think of the lawn as a canvas. take some pictures along the way!


  5. That sounds like a fun idea, Deb, but I don't think I have the patience to follow through. Your idea reminds me of earthworks, or corn mazes.

    There's another point I'd like to make about lawns vs fields: here, the cropped lawn creates an outdoor living space which is differentiated from the uncultivated fields that I mow once a year, and those I get someone to brush hog every 2 or 3.

  6. Likewise, I love the colorful flowers that reveal themselves after a period of non-mowing. Seeing a "baby dandelion" salad on the menu of an expensive NYC restaurant I realized my lawn was just one big salad! (They become "babies" again after each mowing)
    In VT uncut fields soon revert to forest as a walk in the woods reveals many stone walls that used to border sheep & cow pastures.

  7. hi Gail, it's funny to think of a lawn as a salad, but I sure have lots of dandelion greens in early spring.

    I can now report that I mowed the lawn today; I loved the flowers in the grass, but I also love the pure green surface which allows the flower borders to re-emerge.

  8. I sometimes dream about a miniature sheep. Then I get out my scythe. Something wonderful about uneven "bad haircut" grass/weeds that looks sweetly old fashioned.

  9. I would definitely let it grow for a time...then I would drive the mower around in some pattern...then a week later I would mow it all back!

    Sorry Altoon...had to weigh in on this one. I would love the opportunity to do that at least once in this lifetime!
    ps and i would document it at every stage!

  10. Okay, now we have two votes for patterns by mowing, and one for sheep. Maybe next year I'll try something like artistic lawn cropping and document it with pictures. I still have a big field of high grass to mow, that I do once a year; I can try some swaths across that...