Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Why I Got Rid Of My Lawn

God on Lawns
Imagine the conversation The Creator might have had with St. Francis on the subject of lawns:
God: Hey St. Francis, you know all about gardens and nature. What in the world is going on down there in the Midwest? What happened to the dandelions, violets, thistle and stuff I started eons ago? I had a perfect "no maintenance" garden plan. Those plants grow in any type of soil, withstand drought and multiply with abandon. The nectar from the long lasting blossoms attracts butterflies, honey bees and flocks of songbirds. I expected to see a vast garden of colours by now. But all I see are these green rectangles.
St. Francis: It's the tribes that settled there, Lord. The Suburbanites. They started calling your flowers "weeds" and went to great lengths to kill them and replace them with grass.
God: Grass? But it's so boring. It's not colourful. It doesn't attract butterflies, birds and bees, only grubs and sod worms. It's temperamental with temperatures. Do these Suburbanites really want all that grass growing there?
St. Francis: Apparently so, Lord. They go to great pains to grow it and keep it green. The begin each spring by fertilizing grass and poisoning any other plant that crops up in the lawn.
God: The spring rains and warm weather probably make grass grow really fast. That must make the Suburbanites happy.
St. Francis: Apparently not, Lord. As soon as it grows a little, they cut it... sometimes twice a week.
God: They cut it? Do they then bail it like hay?
St. Francis: Not exactly, Lord. Most of them rake it up and put it in bags.
God: They bag it? Why? Is it a cash crop? Do they sell it?
St. Francis: No Sir. Just the opposite. They pay to throw it away.
God: Now let me get this straight. They fertilize grass so when it does grow, they cut it off and pay to throw it away?
St. Francis: Yes, Sir.
God: These Suburbanites must be relieved in the summer when we cut back on the rain and turn up the heat. That surely slows the growth and saves them a lot of work.
St. Francis: You are not going to believe this Lord. When the grass stops growing so fast, they drag out hoses and pay more money to water it so they can continue to mow it and pay to get rid of it.
God: What nonsense. At least they kept some of the trees. That was a sheer stroke of genius, if I do say so myself. The trees grow leaves in the spring to provide beauty and shade in the summer. In the autumn they fall to the ground and form a natural blanket to keep moisture in the soil and protect the trees and bushes. Plus, as they rot, the leaves form compost to enhance the soil. It's a natural circle of life.
St. Francis: You better sit down, Lord. The Suburbanites have drawn a new circle. As soon as the leaves fall, they rake them into great piles and pay to have them hauled away.
God: No. What do they do to protect the shrub and tree roots in the winter and to keep the soil moist and loose?
St. Francis: After throwing away the leaves, they go out and buy something which they call mulch. The haul it home and spread it around in place of the leaves.
God: And where do they get this mulch?
St. Francis: They cut down trees and grind them up to make the mulch.
God: Enough. I don't want to think about this anymore. Sister Catherine, you're in charge of the arts. What movie have you scheduled for us tonight?
Sister Catherine: "Dumb and Dumber", Lord. It's a real stupid movie about.....
God: Never mind, I think I just heard the whole story from St. Francis.


  1. Chuckle ..... I mot as of now say David hahahahaha ...
    actually a very true story. The leaves of the trees protect the soil and roots, but also it is a shelter small animals. Weeds attracts bees and other insects which we get honey. The circle of life shall we say.
    Yet there are many people who make their garden winter ready and there is no hiding place for many more animals.

  2. Such an enjoyable post... and so true.
    We have some lawn around our home (and I love to quote Albertus Magnus: "Nothing refreshes the sight so much as fine short grass"), but it's rather "medieval", with lots of different "weeds" and moss growing, never watered and very seldom fertilised. :)

    With what have you replaced the grass?

    1. Native ground cover, milkweed, butterfly weed, Black-eyed Susan, Balsam fir, American Linden, Staghorn Sumac...............