Over the weekend, I spent some time halfheartedly pulling up dandelions in my front yard. I am quite fond of dandelions--I love that they smell like honey, I love that you can eat them, I love how cheerful they look all over my front lawn. I buy the statement “they loosen impacted soil.” And (I should really look both ways before admitting this), I love blowing dandelion seeds all over the place. (It’s a thrill when you pick one that you can denude of seeds all in one breath.) But my very kind neighbors on each side of me have immaculate green lawns, and I hate to think of them looking at my yellow-studded lawn and having chest palpitations. Dandelions are nothing if not democratic in choosing where to grow. So in the interest of neighborly harmony, I try to keep the dandelions from getting too out of control.
This year, my front lawn will be subject to my first foray into ornamental gardening. I’ve always been an enthusiastic vegetable gardener, but only recently have I had the urge to put in some ornamentals. (Mostly to avoid mowing, I must admit.) As I weeded, I thought about my current lack of plans, and how I should really get going on that, and also about how wonderful the moss growing in my front yard is. It is so soft and plush and green. I realize that it means that I have horrible drainage and soil quality (impacted soil! Bring on the dandelions!), but it was impossible to care. It felt like I was wearing knee pads--if it hadn’t been raining (plus very public), it would have been the perfect soft spot for an outdoor nap. Perhaps I should try to keep a mossy area in my front yard after all--good thing I work in an office that has a whole book on moss gardening!
Chani West-Foyle, marketing associate