community · gardening · waxing philosophical

Day 62: Bees, I’m so sorry.

It was a beautiful day today. The sun was shining, the temperature was warm(ish), and when I woke up and went outside I was greeted by my garden: Sweet purple flowers, blue forget-me-nots and beautiful yellow blooms everywhere. It was gorgeous.

And I’ve gone and killed it. Now it’s flat, boring, mostly lifeless.

Some people would say I’m being pretty melodramatic about mowing the lawn. To them I say: I hate lawns.

I know right now some of you are shaking your heads and declaring me a heathen. Hear me out: a perfect, green, velvety lawn is a sign of affluence — which is the whole reason lawns were invented. They were a statement that the homeowner (lord of the estate, whatever) owned so much land that he could afford to plant one with a purely ornamental crop that has no practical or economic value whatsoever.

Still, I’d have labelled lawns as pretty innocuous if it weren’t for the fact that we’re seeing declining bee populations; no wonder, since there’s less and less for bees to eat. Know what bees and other pollinators love and rely on in the spring? Dandelions. Suddenly, monoculture lawns (as in, a lawn made up of only one specie of plant) look a lot worse from an environmental perspective… and that’s before we’ve even considered the air pollution, noise, and excessive amounts of water that are involved in maintaining that perfect green carpet.

I know it’s better for the earth and for the pollinators to leave the dandelions alone. I know it, and I still mowed my lawn.

The fact is that I have neighbours whom I like, and I’d like for them to like me. They’re the sort of people who will actually go outside and pluck the dandelions from their lawns one at a time (which to my mind is a colossal waste of time, but whatever.) When they look at my lawn, all they see are millions of dandelion seeds waiting to take flight right onto their lawns. They see me making their life more difficult… and they hate looking at my “ugly” lawn, sprinkled here and there (and everywhere) with flowers. So in the interest of being a good neighbour, I mowed them down (the flowers, not the neighbours.)

I feel like I need to apologize to the earth and the bees. I’m sorry — I tried my best and then caved to peer pressure. Maybe when it all grows back I’ll try something else, like a lawn sign. Ah, lawn signs — instant credibility.


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