Todayís Magazine - Backyard Living Feature - March 14
Everyoneís Going Green
by A.N. Olddog
Congratulations, youíve nearly made it through the longest winter yet. I know how youíre feeling. Thereís a danger of embalmment if you salt the front walks one more time. Your teen will lose a finger if he goes mitten-less to school again. The kitchen floor will need refinishing if the sensitive paws of your pup continue to fear the freezing ground. Line up, we all deserve a prize.
But the approaching springís promise is like Red Bull to a toddler. Think of the growth fermenting under the snow cover. Dream of the mowerís perfumed exhaust tickling your nostrils. Get ready to throw off the white quilt and revel in natureís most resilient plant. Grass. Rolling grass - hugging the ground and lying submissively awaiting your attention. Sharpen the blades and shake out the Weed N Feed, your homeís reputation is on the line.
We all know that beyond Christmas light season, no one looks around as theyíre stumbling towards heated interiors. But when the snow melts and complaints of the cold fade, our attention is again drawn to those surrounding us. Will the Smiths finally trim back those overgrown cedars? Will the Jonesís tulips spill out again in rainbowed splendour? What will they whisper about your home? In the interest of defense, you must ensure that the foundation of outdoor greatness is properly laid. That foundation is your lawn.
Now, we wonít dwell on the traitorous cowards who bypass the tradition of grass and plant wildflowers from their driveways to lot lines. Lazy hippies. And please donít ask me whether itís a good idea to plant a maintenance-free rock garden in your front yard. Chin up soldier, maintenance is what keeps you breathing. The ice age planted the rocks; it is presuming too much to replace natureís way and rip out sod for stone.
Ensure your seasonal arsenal includes the following: spring fertilizer (brands with a weed-kill rate greater than 80% only Ė look for the chemical Xyloginanide, just be sure to wear safety equipment when handling), plenty of hose for daily watering (underground sprinkler systems are expensive, but when set for night-time hours are ideal for fooling the bylaw officers and their pesky watering ban), and donít forget the bags of high quality seed for those patchy spots that your pooch favoured.
The main goal, my backyard comrades, is a weed-free, vibrant and sparkling green lawn that will be the envy of the neighborhood. After all, itís the packaging that counts. Happy preparations.
Comments and Letters for Todayís Magazine - March 18
Re: Backyard Living Feature
Iím glad that youíve enjoyed such a wonderful winter season. Skiers have never had such pristine conditions and werenít the Christmas lights beautiful against the backdrop of the ice and snow?
Various and exhaustive research on lawn maintenance undermines your viewpoint in the latest column. Iím sure you realize that Xyloginanide has been banned in our region and was also pinpointed as the cause for the water scare of 2007. As for the watering ban, Iíll forward you a copy of the Regionís newsletter explaining the importance of following it. The weekly designated days for watering are plentiful enough to ensure a healthy lawn, and the structure of the ban takes every citizenís needs into account.
I suppose what concerned me most was your conclusion that ďitís the packaging that counts.Ē The state of our homeís heart should be our top concern, should it not? My kids have been pricked by many a thistle amidst my grass, but theyíve always found a bandage and a hug inside to cheer them up. My brown swathe of dried lawn doesnít sparkle, but I would be happy to invite you over for tea and a warm conversation. You could even bring your dog! Be sure to admire the cedars as you come up my drive.
While Iím not an environmental fanatic, Iíd ask you to please rethink your strategy for this season. We all have weeds my friend, and I donít think any amount of sweat and strategy will ever safely beat them away.
NOTICE from the Editors of Todayís Magazine - March 31
It is our pleasure to announce a new columnist. Mr. Jim Smith will be taking over the Backyard Living column, covering issues that involve our outdoor living spaces.
A.N. Olddog has enjoyed a lengthy career with our publication, but has resigned citing creative differences.
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
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