What green, green grass of home?

Last month our lawn was lovely — all green and soft and ticklish to the bare feet. Then, July comes along and nothing is green but the crabgrass.

I don't get it. Mankind has walked on the moon, eliminated ring around the collar and conquered hair loss yet hasn't discover the answer to a perfect lawn without endless tending 24/7.

My other half lusts after the perfect lawn. During our evening walks, I'm peering into living room windows assessing the décor while he's fondling grass blades cut to perfection.

"Isn't this a beautiful lawn," he says, gently patting the luscious green. "Why can't we have a lawn like this?"

I don't do lawns, but I do like to establish a healthy friendship, especially if they have that clean-cut, all-American look. Our lawn has the look of the mid-'60s, shaggy, scraggly, generally unkempt, even though it has an owner faithful to a routine of fertilizing, sprinkling and cutting.

Each spring, he gives the required shots for dandelions, crabgrass, grubs — for everything but clover.

"If I kill the clover I won't have anything left in July that's green," he says.

Commitment to having a beautiful lawn is a high-stress job, especially noticeable in the spring when it is time to bring out all the equipment stored in the garage the previous winter — a sprinkler that doesn't work, a hose that leaks and a mower that no longer runs.

When applying an insecticide that requires 24 hours of dry weather, it rains. Fertilizer that needs moisture brings clear skies. If there isn't time to mow, the rain falls for seven consecutive nights and instead of Children of the Corn, we have dog of the grass. Going outside to do her business is risky business.

One wonders how man, with all his superior intelligence, ever let grass become a habit. Perhaps, we should plant nothing but clover — maybe the grass would take over.

Joyce Ore

Joyce Ore writes delightful stories about life with a dose of humor and sprinkle of nostalgia. Her column appears Saturday in the Tribune.

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