Mulch We Must

Among the many unambiguous signs that Spring has (finally) arrived is the yard. Not the unit of measurement, of course, the property surrounding residences and the changes it goes through at seasonal change.

Roused from months of sleepy, unattended dormancy, yards come alive with the onset of Spring. Trees and flowers bud and bloom. Grass and, especially, weeds flourish. Allergy sufferers sneeze and wheeze. And yards demand action – human intervention, whether it’s needed or not.

Home centers attract homeowners and gardeners as though it were the day after Christmas at Macy’s. Everything from pressure washers and lawnmowers to deck treatments and fertilizers fly out their gates and into the welcoming, credit card wielding hands of SUV drivers.

Unsolicited flyers advertising one kind of lawn or yard service after another begin to appear taped to mailboxes and tossed on front steps. Hand painted signs get tacked to utility poles, helpfully replacing the “We buy houses for ca$h” signs and crowding the space available for such other important announcements as garage sales.

That we might save a lot of money (and time) otherwise spent on fertilizing that which will insist upon later cutting by simply allowing the yard to grow at its own will is beside the point.

We’re action people. We do stuff.

So we fertilize. And complain about it. The grass grows (along with the weeds – at least in my yard). So we cut it. And complain about it.

The yard, it’s clear, is simply our Spring-time excuse to complain, having exhausted ourselves with complaints about snow, cold weather, wind chill and the like.

Mulching is a big deal in the Spring. Retailers offer bargains on bagged mulch. Landscapers will mulch without cost as long as homeowners purchase their lawn care contract.

We mulch our trees. And shrubs. And flower beds.

Keeps down the weeds. Retains moisture, you know.

Sometimes we get a little carried away.

In my neighborhood, two nearby homes, doing their seasonal due diligence, had their mulching promptly completed.

Trees. Shrubs. Flower beds.

And their street-side wooden mailbox posts.

Comedian George Carlin wondered why we drive on the parkway and park on the driveway.

I’m a little less profound.

But hasn’t the tree from which the wooden mailbox post was cut been dead for some time?

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