From the Start Your Week with Steve newsletter of Steve Henderson Fine Art:
“Before we lived in the country, we lived in town, and one year I decided to rework the entire backyard lawn with a maddox. Carolyn teases me, but I prefer to get my exercise by doing something practical.
“After weeks of chopping and leveling, I was ready to plant the new grass, and while what we really wanted was a natural mix of clover and alternative greenery, as opposed to the conventional blend, such a customized mix was beyond our budget. So we planted the conventional lawn, which was shortly dotted and decorated with dandelions and natural clover.
“While our neighbors were displeased, we liked the look. We kept it trimmed and watered, and smiled at the yellow highlights interspersed with violets and white clover blossoms.
“When we moved out on our acreage, a lawn was the last thing on our minds. We pretty much mowed down what was there — clover, dandelions, interesting grasses, herbs, and other greenery — and called it our lawn. Ironically, what we mowed down and announced as our lawn closely resembles the expensive, customized mix that we wanted when we lived in town. Without even trying, we achieved the ‘natural’ look by simply keeping what was naturally there. People have asked us where we purchased our customized mix, although they still frown at the dandelions.
“We look at our lawn as an extension of who we are — unconventional, with a sprinkling of weeds.
“I often wonder, where did this concept that lawns, all lawns, must look like golf courses come from? And why do so many people feel compelled to go along with the expected flow of neighborhood expectations?
“More importantly, do we live our lives with the same attitude with which we care for our lawns? Do we shudder at the clover and the violets and the dandelions, or do we shrug and say, I keep it trimmed and watered, and it looks nice enough. This is what it is.
“This is what I am.
“Live your life. Be yourself. Keep the dandelions and the clover and the herbaceous, interesting grasses. It’s more natural.”
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