Sunday, June 29, 2014

Summer in Rhody

The "Beast" at rest...
I have had the occasion in the past to whine about regale you with tales of grass cutting in the fair state of Little Rhody By The Sea. 'Tis an activity in which I was engaged this very day (Sunday the 29th of June, for those of you in the future).

That lead in photo is the monster which drags me around the yard, dependent upon me for fuel, guidance and the occasional emptying of the bag. It's all very ceremonial and conducted with a great deal of pomp and circumstance. (If sweating a lot and breathing in copious amounts of dust is synonymous with "ceremonial" and "pomp and circumstance.")

While that's as may be, I do tend to whine a lot about mowing the lawn. I bemoan the fact that I must needs be take four to five hours out of every precious weekend to cut the fescue down to a length which The Missus Herself finds pleasing to the eye. I rage at the cruel fate which has condemned me, like Sisyphus, to engage in this task week after week only to watch the green stuff grow back. As if mocking my efforts to keep it short.

But it does give a lad time to think about the great issues of the day and to even wax philosophical about the very activity which takes up so much of one's free time.

Now I must admit, when I'm done cutting the grass down to size, it is a most pleasing feeling. I can look about the yard and contemplate the fact that once again, I have vanquished my green foe.

As is my wont, I did a little Wiki-research as to the origin of this quaint custom of having a lawn. As always, we can blame the European aristocracy.
Lawns may have originated as grassed enclosures within early medieval settlements used for communal grazing of livestock, as distinct from fields reserved for agriculture. The word "laune" is first attested in 1540, and is likely related to the Celtic Brythonic word lan/llan/laun, which has the meaning of enclosure, often in relation to a place of worship.

Lawns became popular with the aristocracy in northern Europe from the Middle Ages onward. The early lawns were not always distinguishable from pasture fields. It is speculated the association between the word "pasture" and biblical mentions made lawns a cultural affinity for some. The damp climate of maritime Western Europe in the north made lawns possible to grow and manage. They were not a part of gardens in other regions and cultures of the world until contemporary influence.

It was not until the 17th and 18th century, that the garden and the lawn became a place created first as walkways and social areas. They were made up of meadow plants, such as camomile, a particular favorite. In the early 17th century, the Jacobean epoch of gardening began; during this period, the closely cut "English" lawn was born. By the end of this period, the English lawn was a symbol of status of the aristocracy and gentry; it showed that the owner could afford to keep land that was not being used for a building, or for food production. - Wikipedia
Based on that last paragraph, I do believe that The Missus Herself, regardless of her appearance and place of birth, may actually be English.

All we're missing is croquet.

Nevertheless, the grass is cut, a beer was imbibed to celebrate victory and I sat back and contemplated the wonders of my wife's handiwork in our little corner of the world. All that you are about to see is the work of her hands and the vision she had for our back yard.

I just lift heavy things and cut the grass. It's all I'm good for.

Statues and everything, Alexander the Great would feel right at home!
What I like to call "The Oval Garden", the centerpiece of the back yard at Chez Sarge.
That Japanese Maple began it's career as a very small stick with one leaf. The Missus Herself nurtured it well methinks.
Seems that The Missus Herself has been influenced by the Ancient Greeks.

Once the mighty mower has been shut down and stillness reigns once more amongst the roses, one can hear this in the background...

The waterfall at Chez Sarge.

I enjoy one of the Shipyard's finest after a long day in the yard.

Sigh... All gone!

Speaking of roses...

Their number and variety is staggering this year. I don't know how she does it.

Have a great week!


  1. Didn't know Niagara Falls were located in Rhode Island.
    Seriously, looks great Sarge!

  2. The Missus likes her topiary, doesn't she? It's a beautiful yard.

  3. Wonderful yard. Bet you get a few drive by tourists.

  4. beautiful yard, can do spend much time there.

    1. It's a great place to just kick back and chill.

  5. I have one of those things in the first picture.
    It requires that somebody push it.
    I have, on occasion, done so.
    But I am pretty sure, if someone offered to buy it, I would sell.

    1. I so understand where you're coming from Skip!

  6. Great looking yard but I can see why it takes so long to mow, IT'S AN OBSTACLE COURSE!!. The way I see it, you have two options:

    1. Get a zero-turn riding mower. That was the option I chose and it cut down mowing 1.5 acres of yard from over 6 hrs to less than 2 (while riding in comfort and carrying a frosty brown ale ;-) )

    2. Do what the snowbirds in Phoenix do, rip out all the fescue, cover the ground with plastic sheeting and then cover that with colored gravel.

    But definitely a great looking yard, well done!!

    1. The riding mower was nixed when the gardens were "installed."

      There are spots where it's tough getting the regular mower through!

    2. I'll bet you have to do a lot of weed-eating also, eh?

    3. The weed whacking can take up to an hour.

      I only do it every other week, or so.

    4. Yeah, same here, every other week for weed whacking works out well. I have to admit, I actually enjoy the mowing and weeding. Sometimes I even break out
      the push mower and do about a third of the property. Guess I'm dain bramaged!!

    5. I've got a neighbor like that. Some days he uses the riding mower, sometimes he gets out the "walk behind."

      I view the yard chores as a necessary evil, can't say I've ever looked forward to it!

    6. Don't let anyone else know but I even enjoy shoveling snow in the winter!!!
      By the way, the wife loves your yard, says your better half is a connoisseur!

  7. Wicked awesome yard, Sarge. You and the missus are a great team.


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