clover,  gardens,  lawns,  mono-culture

Clover guilt


It makes me sad to mow down the clover. I feel as if I’m depriving the bees of their dinner. Plus, I like clover. I like the way it smells and feels soft under my feet when I walk through it. I like that it is nature’s living nitrogen factory boosting the nutrient levels of the soil. I like to glimpse the cat lounging on a soft bed of clover as the sun shimmers across his golden coat.

But city ordinances and disapproving looks from the neighbors being what they are, I mowed this morning and sheared the clover down to a swath of stems and a few low leaves. The clover luckily doesn’t seem to mind and will grow back quickly with no signs of damage from the attack.

I’ve never understood the attraction of a large green, mono-cultured, manicured lawn. It seems so sterile and devoid of life. I much prefer my lawn of clover and mixed grasses, a few Johnny Jump Ups and even a bit of mint that has escaped the flower bed. The bees and birds and a bevy of other flying and crawling critters seem to prefer it also. I found baby Praying Mantis the other morning as I was watering some snapdragons. I found little frogs hopping through the clover.

City folk around here are always spraying and dusting to kill anything that creeps and crawls around their houses and to kill everything growing in their lawns that isn’t Bermuda grass. It’s a shame and I wonder if they realize all the tiny wonders and miracles they miss out on by creating such a cold, cruel environment.