I have a fickle relationship with lawns. I love mowing the lawn. I find it relaxing and satisfying, especially since I started using battery powered mowers. Right now I mow ours once a week with my toddler riding on my arm. This is rather strenuous and means I only mow about half of it each week, especially since I have to pick up fallen apples from our two trees first and am currently trying to avoid the wild flowers.

That’s what makes this lawn so pretty, it’s not just grass. It’s lots of different plants, many of them flowering. There’s something similar to Indian Paint brush, which most of the year performs similar to crab grass, but there’s also these lawn daisies we get in the spring and something with feathery leaves and big white flowers that pop up in the fall. Not only are the lovely, they feel great under your feet, so I’ve been encouraging them to grown. The downside is that by the time I mow those sections, it’s wicked hard. There’s also a strip of cleared ground for veggies that I have populated with radishes, carrots and one late germinating pumpkin plant. I didn’t weed it, so the grass encroached and now it’s just this wild patch of lawn perpetually spewing little white radish flowers and delicious pods. I assume at some point the carrots will flower, but in general I can’t decide what to do with it.

Back in Massachusetts we had a huge amount of yard, but very little nice lawn and all of it pretty generic. I intentionally would let the worst patches grow tall to aerate the ground and encourage more grass to grow. My understanding is that lawns are imitating 18th century royalty and fairly bad for the environment, at least the way Americans do it. In Denmark, no one had any qualms about letting their yard get brown and crunch during the drought and they all popped back beautifully. I had an ongoing fight with the real estate agent, who sold our house and seemed oddly more on the side of the buyer than us, about the lawn. She wanted us to pay to have it mowed even after we had an agreement in place with a buyer, insisting it counted as upkeep. I told her this was ridiculous since a lawn is keeping grass in this weird zombie state where it never gets to live out its life cycle and letting everything get tall and go to seed was better for it.

So that’s my eternal grass quandary, indulge my joy of mowing or let it live its normal life cycle. At least with my current, mostly not grass lawn, it doesn’t feel as hard a question, because if the plants are putting out flowers, they must be happy!