long-weekend rant: do you like to mow? (part 2)

tools-of-trade(A reprise of a favorite post, perfect for summer’s official kickoff.)

I HAVE A LOVE-HATE THING GOING WITH MOWING: I always feel it’s a time-waster, but I am also always relieved there’s “mowing to be done” since that means legitimate escape from things like writing the book I have due. Mowing has immediate, tangible results; you cut grass blades, and they look cut. You try to write and, well, sometimes you don’t get any words. So tell me, do you like to mow? We’ve talked about this before, and instead of repeating myself I could have checked that you’re following the tomato-growing tips and using a rain gauge when you water and pruning your fading lilacs…or asked if you’re almost done with the May chores list. But it’s a holiday, so before I go out to you-know-what (also known as avoid writing), I’ll simply ask if you like to mow, and also say one more thing: My frogboys, all my innumerable sisters and I wish you a happy, healthy, safe, delicious long weekend, mowing or its avoidance notwithstanding.

  1. Laura Biegger says:

    Yes, I like to mow, but especially like having gotten it done! “Done” being a relative term! And, yes, I pruned the lilacs just yesterday. I enjoy reading your website and mostly fantasizing about being as industrious as you are.

    1. margaret says:

      Welcome, Laura. I do it with smoke and mirrors; don’t believe a word (or a photo). :) Congrats on the lilac to-do being done; that’s next week here, the leading agenda item. See you soon again, I hope, and happy holiday.

  2. Brian G. says:

    I actually had ‘lawn anxiety’ two weeks ago when I thought my mower was dead. The thought of not being able to mow before leaving for the work week literally made my tummy hurt. Turned out I had too much oil in it and when I drained the excess and the motor turned over I was giddy. I have control issues, obviously.

    Happy first summer weekend!

  3. Rosella says:

    My husband and I are too old to mow any more, but happily for our continuing to reside in this house, los hermanos Garcia are happy to do it for us at a most reasonable price and also to provide me with some Spanish language practice. Everything else we do ourselves, with the exception of ivy clearing.

    And the May chore list is getting shorter, although it still exists. But the peonies are in full fat bloom, the fringe trees are scenting the air with the perfume the angels wear in heaven, and the garden is inviting, chores or no chores.

  4. 1916home.net says:

    NOT AT ALL. The only good thing about mowing is I can add it to the compost pile, otherwise my grass is slowly dying off right now and I will be planting a front yard edible garden and make some real use of the space instead of just grass.

  5. margaret says:

    I am so happy to see all of you.

    Welcome, 1916Home. I have reduced my lawn my lawn a lot, too, and love the idea of the conversion you are planning. See you again soon with a progress report, I hope. :)

    Carol, I thought the word “mow” might be a magnet for you. :)

    Brian, when the mower doesn’t start (or once when hydraulic fluid was dripping from the tractor that I use on the really big areas) I freak out. Powerless, literally. I get it.

    And Rosella, all I can say is esta bien que los hermanos Garcias son un aspecto de su vida. Quizas ellos pueden visitarme algun dia tambien? :)

  6. John at JWLW says:

    The only part about mowing that I like is that I get to ride around the Yard on my John Deer. All other parts of mowing
    I do not like. Yes it needs to be done this week end. Trying to get Grandson to mow for me, He’s old enough and big enough but says he’s to busy. Looks like Monday is mow day.


  7. Justin Russell says:

    Used to loathe it when I had to mow a large town block on a slope with a push mower. Now, with a bit of land, a ride-on and a pair of earmuffs, mowing means an hour or three where all I have to think about is driving in a straight line. Quite meditative, really.

  8. mss @ Zanthan Gardens (Texas) says:

    Yes, I like to mow. Just like vacuumning, mowing creates a tidy, clear space with almost no work. A nicely mown lawn is a calm restful counterpoint to my wild meadow garden.

  9. ariel says:

    I like to mow, especially with the push mower -not so much with the riding mower. All the men in my life like the riding mower! I like to mow, but I don’t like the string trimmer at all. I do like how everything looks after its been mowed and trimmed. I like to leave a bit of the lawn to go wild, too…I gues I like surprises.

  10. Ailsa says:

    I just mowed my parents lawn and in contrast to their beds, which give me caniptions every time I gaze at them and see something newly chewed by the resident groundhog or see something not growing the way it should, I heave a satisfied sigh that all is right with the world when the grass is newly mowed and looks deceptively perfect amid the surrounding ‘imperfections’.

  11. Johanna says:

    A number of years ago I bought a house on an acre. The people were moving to Tucson and offered to sell me their John Deere rider. I felt I was already spending plenty of money, thank you, but asked some guys I worked with what they thought. “It’s a JOHN DEERE? Buy it!!!” Thereafter, when I had a summertime party the guys would hang around the garage looking at the JD.

    I never got that starry-eyed gazing at my mower, but on a warm day if I can mow fast, creating my own breeze, I don’t mind it at all!

  12. margaret says:

    Welcome, Justin (who favors the rider), and welcome, Ariel (who favors the push mower). I agree on the meditative part….and also on the “just say no” to string trimmers. See you both soon, I hope.

    @MSS and Ailsa: Yes, the sense of calming counterpoint. Exactly. Happy weekend.

  13. Leslie says:

    I hate mowing, always felt it was a waste of gardening time. Finally hired it out. I am gradually replacing it all with stepable groundcover. BUT there is nothing like the scent of newly mowed grass.

  14. Lolo says:

    Never mowed, ever. Someone else has always had that delightful duty and I’ve never begrudged the pleasure. Currently shrinking the size of my suburban lawn with plantings and allowing the invasion of clover, thyme, yarrow, etc. Don’t like the din and stink of most mowers.

  15. I never thought I would say it, but I love to mow now that we have finally cleared all the tree debris from our 2009 ice storm.

    Limb by limb, branch by branch and even twig by twig we have finally found the grass and oh! how I am loving being able to mow it now…!!

  16. DD says:

    I am a single woman past 50 (let’s keep it at that, shall we?), who lives on a 1/3 acre corner lot filled with trees and shrubs. I edge by hand (so glad you guys talked me out of buying one of those whackers!), so at least several hours are devoted at first to picking up limbs and branches (lots of pecan trees which are self-pruning). I wish I could use a push mower, but too many trees. I consider my summer mowing to be my best exercise – all that yanking the mower around the shrubs, and back and forth on the four surrounding sides, and I’m really pooped! But, if it weren’t for pushing myself to finish it, I have never exercised in a gym to the point of exhaustion like I do mowing my yard. I just swallow a couple extra glucosamine tablets, and admire how pretty it looks when I’m through. I love, love your site!

  17. margaret says:

    From never mowed a blade of grass (Lolo) to total determination against all odds (DD)…lots of thoughts on mowing (which I have avoided today so far…getting shaggy out there).

    Welcome to Iris. A few years after I got my house 20-plus years ago, just when I had cleared it from past neglect and started gardening a little, there was a Biblical storm like the one you describe. And I started all over again. It is a relief when you get down to the grass…something mowable…under all that debris. See you again soon.

  18. ninidee says:

    I used to hate mowing until we got a push mower. The noise and gas smell seemed to be the antithesis of what time in the garden should be about. Now I listen to the gentle whir of the blades, hear the birds singing, get a pleasant workout and have a wonderful trimmed lawn at the end of it.

  19. margaret says:

    Welcome, Ninidee. You make it sound poetic. I have a couple of acres on a steep hillside and I wonder what parts of it I could do w/a reel mower. Tempted. I remember that sound from my youth. :)

  20. ann says:

    I like mowing too. I have a push, rotary mower and it is such great exercise. It makes me feel less guilty about not going running on the weekends. Plus I love cutting “designs” into the grass, working in patterns so that the yard almost looks like a topo-map. Probably kind of sick, but very satisfying! That said, I haven’t put in my tomato stakes yet, and I’m feeling guilty about it…

  21. Amy says:

    I mow two yards each week. It takes about 4 hours for the 5 acres. I love it. With two small kids so I rarely get time to myself. It’s my time to think with only the hum of the mower. Gardening, in general, is my form of therapy. Mowing is a big part of that.

  22. Bobster says:

    I LOVE mowing just like I love weeding…it’s fun when I don’t *have* to do it!
    It can be tough when mowing opportunity doesn’t coordinate with a dry day and the grass is getting higher and higher and I know there’s a small window of getting it cut before it’s too long for the reel mower. But once I’m out there listening to the ‘whir, whir’ of the mower and watching that little dancing cloud of tiny flying lawn clippings…it’s almost blissful. Each year there’s a little less lawn as the beds expand and “the plan” fills out, so the reel mower is ideal for my little yards. Still addicted to the string trimmer…I’m working on it.

    Margaret…ask us all how we feel about it again in August ;-)

  23. I’m taking a break from mowing right now. I came inside for a glass of water and your blog was up on the screen, my partner was reading up on your edging techniques. The thought of mowing is worse than the actual mowing for me. Once I get into it I find it very theraputic. I’ve worked out quite a few problems pushing that machine.

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