"A neglected lawn is ugly.."
These ever so eloquent words spoken by my fair dear are true and unforgiving. Neglect a lawn for a growing season and it will never let you forget it. It will become weed and bug infested quicker than you could expect, and will take a few years to bring back to life. Leave it unmowed, velociraptors will begin to move into the tall grass and wreak havoc on your life until you switch your door handles to door knobs. Okay, not so much, but seriously, don't neglect a lawn if you happen to move into some place, or buy a home, that has even the semblance of a good lawn.
Luckily, where I moved too, had neither the velociraptor problem, or any semblance of a nice lawn. But what it did have, was a "yard" with "grass growing".
Lawn Care 101,
So I haven't technically done anything terribly wrong, in fact, for a dude like myself, I've done a lot right.. I swear!
- Cool! You have a new apartment! It smells like cigarette smoke and the windows are painted shut! But hey, you have a good yard out back that soon will look like a beautiful manicured lawn. You know, that kind of lawn out in front of the Biltmore Estate, or those botanical gardens your mom brought you to on every family vacation. With just a quick mow and watering, it'll be as green as it can be.
- ALL LIES. Except for the sentences ending in an exclamation point. Those are terribly true, though Shelby claims I've just gotten the place smelling like a neutral zone, neither bad, nor terribly good. But the yard. Yeah, no secret fertilizer, no watering it once a week, mowing it down to a reasonable amount is going to be the secret code to a perfect lawn.
- Some times you just mow it for the first time in 5 years (or your girlfriend's dad does). Yes. apparently this lawn has been neglected for over 5 years. Maybe once or twice a summer someone would stop by, or a neighbor would get pissed and come over and mow it. But seriously. On a regular basis, it has been over 5 years since someone has cared about this lawn.
- My final step for Lawn Care 101 is PEOPLE. Do not neglect the fact that there are a lot of people just like you. They want to see a nice lawn when they look over the fence at their neighbors yard. I've been constantly bombarded with amazing help from my neighbors, offering hedge trimmers, tools, advice, labor, air conditioners, and one neighbor has even taken it as a mission himself to provide me with as many plants as possible to start my own herb and tomato garden. Seriously. And not just my neighbors. Shelby's family has made the first loving mistake of offering to help assist me in moving in to my new place. A tribe of Richins descended on my Bountiful apartment to haul a ton of my silly junk down to my new place. Huge mattresses and all. I am pretty much forever indebted to their help for saving me boatloads of cash on a U-Haul rental. But that's not even the best part. In their help, Garret (Shelby's dad) offered up his yard tools to get me rolling on the yard work, until my landlord could get me a mower. A few days after I got settled in, I thought it would be good to start on the lawn. So I asked on Memorial Day if I could go pick them up. Oh No... I was amazingly mistaken. They hauled a ton of tools over here, with Kim in tow, and preceded to help me make my yard look incredible. Lawn mowed, edges trimmed, hedges trimmed, weeds pulled, more weeds pulled, weeds killed, more weeds pulled. And holy crap. My yard looked great. All because Shelby's parents decided they wanted to help me do yard work, instead of having a BBQ. Never neglect people. Cause if you do, they'll come out of the woodwork to remind you that they want to help.
The First moral of the story about Lawn Care, which I guess applies to so much in life. Don't expect to make things perfect the first time around. I'm probably going to have to wait another year before I can get the lawn to get somewhere close to where my dream is, but I knew this from the get go, my lawn was going to look horrible this summer.
The Second is don't underestimate people. No matter if you're introverted, lonely, or burned the bridge with everyone you've ever known. Someone will find you and offer some help of any kind, be it the kind of fertilizer for your grass, or a bunch of plants to start growing good healthy things. Don't forget. And don't forget to offer them something in return, or force them to accept something in return.
Some of the Neighbor's sacrifices to keep me pleased.