Two days before Earth Day, my regular segment on our local NPR station was aired. I don’t come on as a gardening expert; I am part of a rotation of local editors and media types who chat about issues their publications are covering. We talked about gardening because my magazine always has gardening content, and May’s issue has more than usual. In it, I did an in/out list that included
Out: Adirondack chairs (more wishful thinking—they are becoming so ubiquitous and I find them uncomfortable)
In: Garden tools that let you use your feet (I am finding myself using more tools that let me stand up rather than the hand tools)
In: Reused/salvaged materials used in paving, raised beds, and other hardscaping (this has been big in Buffalo for a while)
Out: Fairy gardens (as opposed to miniature gardens, though again, wishful thinking)
And so on.
We talked about some of that, but eventually my host asked me about his lawn; he had stopped using weedkillers and other chemical aids on it when his kids were small, but now, with them out of the house, he had gone back to them. I guess he just hates dandelions. There was no time to go into all the alternatives, so I just suggested more tolerance. I don’t have any turfgrass, but my friends who do tell me they just mow whatever is there, weeds and all. That’s the easiest way. Or, I guess there are products like these.
But what I also said is that—with all the problems in our lakes and rivers that we’re struggling to remediate already—I just see any justification for spraying or pouring questionable treatments that, in the grand scheme of things, just aren’t worth it. That’s about as far as I can go with this discussion, except for being really, really glad I never have to deal with the L word myself.