“I am not a lover of lawns. Rather would I see daisies in their thousands, ground ivy, hawkweed, and even the hated plantain with tall stems, and dandelions with splendid flowers and fairy down, than the too-well-tended lawn.” W.H. Hudson, The Book of a Naturalist, 1919.

I am a lover of lawns, in moderation. There’s nothing like the green sweep of a cricket ground, and to lie on my back watching the clouds swim gently across the sky was one of the great pleasures of childhood. And you’re right: there’s no reason I shouldn’t still be doing this. But not today. It’s raining gently and steadily in Great Barrington. The tomato and cauliflower plants are especially grateful.

And the lawn is grateful, too, I think, because it depends entirely on rain; we wouldn’t dream of watering it, as my parents used to water the lawn in front of their California home. It’s a mix of crabgrass and clover, with plenty of dandelions and plantain. I’m not sure if it really should count as lawn–it’s just a mowed hillside–but it does look quite nice and does just as well as manicured turf for picnics and cloudgazing.

Here’s a good book to turn to for advice: Natural Lawn Care, by Dick Raymond. Storey Communications, 1993.

karen christensen's corona typewriter on t s eliot's desk

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