Outgrowing- out crowded.


There is this attempt by nature to dominate as well as nurture. We love to grow grass but against that we have to mow it. Actually, I don’t love grass, not in the form of the dreaded lawn. In 1956 soon after arrival I noticed our neighbour having a fixation about his lawn. It wasn’t directly noticed or seen by me. Each week-end instead of being on his knees in church or on football field, he was seen kneeling on his beloved lawn.

He would crawl along as if in prayer, his head bend piously and in reverence but hands downwards as if repenting something of the past and asking forgiveness, grasping at clumps of grass in the meantime. He could always be found on his lawn in the week-end. It must have been of great comfort and reassurance to his wife. He was a good husband, father of six children and loved his lawn.

The question is; was he in control of his lawn or the other way around? His aim, after I was first watching and then asking my dear neighbour, was his unshaken love and fondness of kneeling on grass to get rid of unwanted grasses. He called them weeds. To me it all looked green and lovely. Our neighbour ( his name was Bill) had a different view of nice grass. It had to be a pure type of grass and not of a multi- varied type. He made his life-long wish to get a perfect lawn.

There I was thinking grass is grass and green is green. No, not according to Bill. There are whole armies of true blue homeowners who are absolutely committed to a perfect lawn. During week-ends many are seen on knees digging out ‘weeds’, don’t mistake them for being bored. They take to lawns like Vermeer did to the painting of a Golden Girl and magic Pearl. I have seen this!

It would be unwise to question this too adroitly. One could end up being called a communist or worse, a Trotskyite reffo and lose out on a friendly neighbour. It does not go down well when migrants from stale cabbage smelling dusty Hungarian or Dutch apartments then emerging in a sunny cheery Australia, to meddle with things they should have left behind in the ‘old country’. It is never too late to learn something. Leave lawns well enough alone. Each to their own!

I did learn and accept but have as yet to be converted to preening a lawn during week-ends. As a concession and in memory of ‘Bill’ though, I now have an electric whipper snipper to keep down all the little grasses that with all the rain has sprung surprisingly quickly during the last few weeks.

As for things outgrowing. A year ago we planted what we thought a small leafy plant in a pot. It is much more now and is increasingly trying to take over. If you look at the photo, we have to squeeze around it now to get upstairs. It grows almost a foot per day and we have thought of calling the State Emergency Services with helicopter. It is getting out of control and if it keeps going, might have to move our computers and office downstairs. It is not a banana or palm tree, but it is big. It is close to three metres. Help!

Nature or nurture?

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24 Responses to “Outgrowing- out crowded.”

  1. Yvonne Says:

    I hope that’s not a triffid, Gerard!


    Liked by 1 person

  2. rod Says:

    I have two large areas of grass and restrict myself to keeping them under control but always protecting the clover, loved by bees, and the veronica, loved by me.

    I have seen examples of people under the control of their lawns, especially when it comes to controlling moss. Bill sounds like a serious case. As for your plant, would it be OK outside?


    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Glad you too have found the Bills and pure lawns a bit serious. I don’t think that large plant can satnd frost. We are astonished each morning and rush up-stairs to see its latest surge during the night.
      Helvi thought she could even hear it grow last night, breaking through the soil, and surging forever upwards.


  3. Silver in the Barn Says:

    One thing we love about living in the country is we are no longer looked upon with contempt by the Lawn Nazis who abound in planned communities. Here we let the grass (I hesitate to call it a lawn) go au naturel, which is to say that clover, violets, buttercups, and dandelions are allowed to grow without vile weedkillers strewn upon them. I used to feel such pity for my poor husband at neighborhood parties when the male conversation would turn to “lawn care” and I could see his eyes glazing over.


    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Conversation going to lawns at parties. Wow, any weed swapping?? Lanw Nazis. We were lucky to get out of it!
      On the farm we had a weed inspector flexing his Municipal muscles. He was taught a lesson though, through Planning and Environment Court and the Lactating Mothers Association.
      I had help from an environmental legal defence group. and received an apology from the Council.
      Weedspraying is bad and even badder on slopes that cause rainwater to flow into the catchment water for Sydney.
      I was so happy.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Carrie Rubin Says:

    I can’t help but wonder how many of Bill’s pants were ruined by endless grass stains!


  5. kaytisweetlandrasmussen83 Says:

    This just reminded me that I moved all my dormant orchid plants into a garden shed because they looked so stringy in their window. I should give them a look to see if they are making it. There’s always something wanting our attention!


  6. petspeopleandlife Says:

    Lost my comment. Dang. The lawn week-enders are a bane to the environment. Many use harmful chemicals that kills the good bugs and butterflies. The soil no longer contains beneficial microbes.

    Gerard, do you know the name of the plant from hell? Maybe you can prune it or move to it a different location in your house.

    ~Yvonne D.


  7. hilarycustancegreen Says:

    You’d have to get down on your hands and knees to find the grass on our lawn. It is mostly green though, as moss and every variety of low growing weed cover it.


  8. Master of Something Yet Says:

    Much like kneeling in church, kneeling on lawns is a dying part of society, relegated to ageing men who remember a time when they knew what was what.
    We had lawn once. It didn’t survive the drought and we couldn’t be bothered replacing it.


    • gerard oosterman Says:

      I wonder if Lawn addicts ever give up? Do they hand it over to a higher power and confess? Last night I saw someone who had busted. There he was, poor sod, kneeling at 11.30pm with a torch, in the black of the night, staring at an unwanted bit of weed in between the evergreens. He was sobbing.


  9. bkpyett Says:

    Enjoyed your post Gerard. Your plant reminded me of my Italian mother in law, who lived in Sydney, and her rubber plant grew roots through the floor, which dangled into the laundry downstairs! I think yours looks beautiful!


  10. Curt Mekemson Says:

    I’ve never been able to get into growing lawns either, Gerard. It was the unfortunate neighborhood that inherited me. Fortunately here, out in the boonies, there is no pressure to grow a lawn. In fact our drought-like conditions as of late, make me a politically correct good person because I don’t grow one. 🙂 –Curt


  11. stuartbramhall Says:

    I liberated my lawn and use my front garden to grow veggies instead.


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