Keeping off the grass

Wondering how to avoid cutting the lawn this summer? Our columnist has a few words of advice.

Summer is officially here, which means that gardening season is in full swing; so it’s time to tackle another round of gardening questions. Let’s get stuck right in!

The Communities in Bloom judges will be here soon, and I can’t wait. What’s the date of their visit this year? The judges will be in Ashcroft and Cache Creek in mid-July. And may I say that it’s great to see such enthusiasm for this incredible community initiative!

Well, I really wanted to know when I could stop making sure my lawn and garden look nice. Um, I don’t think you’re really embracing the true spirit of Communities in Bloom.

But I can’t stand the weeding! I pay good money for flowers, then have to keep watering and fertilizing them unless I want them to turn into potpourri; but the weeds just keep coming. Well, there are two schools of thought about weeds. One is that they are an enduring sign of Mother Nature’s infinite fertility, a symbol of perpetual life and bounty; the other is that they are one of the circles of Hell made manifest on earth. I suspect you fall into the latter camp.

So what can I do? Use a flamethrower. Yes, you may also destroy your lawn, garden, shrubs, and trees, and possibly inflict serious structural damage on your house, vehicles, and any outbuildings you have; but you will get rid of the weeds. For a day or two, anyway.

Also, I hate cutting my lawn, especially in July and August when it’s so hot. How can I get out of doing that? Do you have an old sports injury that could start playing up again? Back spasms are also an excellent excuse, as they don’t require you to fake an injury for a sustained period of time; they can “flare up” as required.

I’m not a very good actor, and I think my family would get suspicious if this only happened when it was time to cut the lawn. Back spasms are endlessly useful no matter what the season; they can also stop you from raking leaves or shovelling snow, amongst other things that you probably want to get out of doing. If you’re not confident in your ability to fake an injury, a real one would do the trick, but that’s only for the truly dedicated. I recently broke my collarbone in two places, and that definitely gets me out of cutting the lawn; however, it also gets me out of doing such things as sleeping in a comfortable position, driving a car, using my right hand, and getting dressed easily. Be careful what you wish for.

So are there any other lawn-cutting options? You could hire someone to do it, which stimulates the local economy and provides gainful employment to someone.

But I’m cheap. In that case, you could have children who will do it for you, but that takes a certain amount of planning and long-term commitment, and is obviously not an option for everyone. You really have two choices: a flamethrower (see above) followed by xeriscaping, or simply letting the grass go and asking the government to declare your yard a provincial park or protected area (good luck!). But please: wait until after the Communities in Bloom judges have visited.