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A brown lawn – A patch of honor?

The socialist mayor of Toronto, an avowed golfer at a private country club, urges the citizens of this fair city to embrace the environmental movement. We should do away with the gas powered mower and use the old push reel-type instead, so the mayor says. Better yet, we should rip out the grass and plant wildflowers. A local gardening tabloid proclaims that a brown lawn in the summer is a patch of honor, proof of one’s environmental correctness to preserve water.

I never thought that in my lifetime the day would come that I should need to apologize for a perfectly trimmed, green lawn, but that day seems to have arrived. Torontonians are taking the mayor’s words to heart and even where I live north of the city, more and more home owners are switching over to naturalized lawns. Audubon has arrived in the suburbs and it’s a sorry sight. Rats are soon to follow.

Frankly, I resent the noise of power mowers, weed eaters and blowers while I am having a libation on my sunny deck in the evening but I can always turn off my hearing aids. Others don’t have that option. The whirr of push reel mower is much more pleasant and the effort makes for a healthy exercise. I can live with that. I can even live with the ban on cosmetic pesticides. For most, it means hand weeding since other pests are rarely a problem. But the naturalized patches in front of people’s premises irk me to no end. They look shabby at the best of times and spoil the appearance of suburbia. I wonder if the mayor suffers from pangs of guilt while he strolls (or rides) down the pristine fairways of his private country club. There are the privileged and then there are the masses.

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