Monday, May 18, 2009

The Grass is Always Greener

Lawns are much maligned by us gardeners. We can't seem to get rid of them fast enough.

The criticism is warranted in the case of some lawns, especially mine. It's not so much a lawn as it is a gathering of weeds.

I don't care about lawns (hence the weed collection.) I never notice them. They are simply not on my radar. That all changed this weekend when I came upon a pristine field of green on Toronto's waterfront.

It was simply stunning. The ground was perfectly level. The blades were uniformly clipped. There was nary a dandelion or plantain in sight. "I want this," I thought.

But how could this perfection be possible? Golf courses manage to do it. They take pride in their manicured turf but they don't have to contend with thousands upon thousands of visitors every weekend. Grass would be no match for Harbourfront foot traffic.

I got down on my hands and knees to investigate. Much to my chagrin, this was no super grass resistant to man and weeds alike. It wasn't even grass. It was simulated grass "planted" in what appeared to be tiny black flakes of rubber. Rubber! No wonder the whole lakefront smelled like old tires. The fake stuff made a nice but fleeting first impression (smell notwithstanding). If anything, it made me appreciate my real lawn for change. I'll take the weeds over the stench any day.

P.S. In defence of fake grass and rubber soil, I did see a kid do a face plant in the turf and bounce right back to an upright position in the space of just two seconds. In that particular instance, for that particular kid, the fake grass really was a little greener.


Darla said...

That last part was funny. Fake lawns, no thanks!

Sandy aka Doris the Great said...

Interesting concept, fake grass!

I spent 20 years in the country on an acre that, at one time, was ALL mowed. (Not by me.) When I began mowing (& cut back the portion that got mowed), it still took me 2-3 hr to complete it all.

The past 2 years, I've been in town with a postage stamp sized "lawn" that's part weeds/ part moss. It takes me 5 min to mow it! Bliss!!!

Gives me more time to dig in the garden!

Gardenista said...

Hmmm. I heard from some blogger that Ottawa occasionally uses fake plastic tulips when there are technical difficulties in the tulip festival beds. I suppose fake is the key to the appearance of perfection, but we gardeners shall not be fooled. Currently, the weeds are the greenest most thriving thing in my lawn too.