If ‘April showers bring May flowers’ is a true statement – and it certainly seems to be true here in Oysterville – then I think that ‘with mild May comes the green’ should follow. May is the month that the alder and crabapple trees leaf out completely. screening from view the blow-down and other ravages of winter; the woods look freshly gowned in every shade of green imaginable. And May marks the beginning of the lawn-mowing season.
Not that we don’t mow during March or April. But it’s the winter tidying-up sort of mowing. In May it’s the once-a-week-is-hardly-enough sort of mowing. The Mowing Season will continue into October and is the time of a constant hide-and-seek game that gardeners play with the weather.
Ideally, the best time to mow is on a day when there’s been no rain for twenty-four hours and it’s been windy enough to dry out the grass so the lawnmower doesn’t clot up. In our moist marine climate, it’s difficult to keep to a regular schedule.
Nyel mowed yesterday afternoon. The lawn wasn’t perfectly dry, but close enough. It looks fabulous! Today and tomorrow, weather permitting, will be the ideal days to do outside-on-the-lawn things. A picnic lunch. A game of boules. A sit in a lawn chair and read a book. By Friday, the grass will be getting shaggy once more and, by Saturday, Nyel will be looking at the weather forecast and trying to plan his next mowing date.
There are those who plan other sorts of landscaping so they aren’t tied to the mowing ritual. When I built my house by the bay, I purposely left everything natural. But here ‘in town’ lawns seem to set off our houses and help to show off our planting beds. Lawns are also a fine alternative to rainy-weather mud puddles.
It was probably with those thoughts in mind that Tucker (with help from his cousin Larry) sowed lawn seed around his house ten days or so ago. They left a sufficient area unplanted to accommodate the ongoing construction traffic and cordoned off the newly planted parts. For a few dry days, he set up sprinklers to keep everything moist and happy. On Sunday we could see a little green here and there and then, yesterday – WOW! A carpet of new grass!
It won’t be long now before we hear that lawnmower over at Tucker’s again!