If a 49-year-old man had hair like the lawn in my friend Liz’s backyard, it might provoke a fleeting moment of envy in other 49-year-old men who perhaps did not have such a freakishly thick, immoderately healthy growth on their own heads.
But we’re talking about lawns. And Liz, who is not only a talented interior designer but is the type of gardener who knows the Latin names for every plant under her domain, has a nice lawn. And one early evening in midsummer my partner Steph and I were relaxing on this fulsome sward with Liz, her husband Tom and daughter Edie.
Stephanie adores a nice English lawn. I’m more open to biodiversity, and to her dismay our tiny front and back patches are not at the moment populated strictly with grasses. She ran a hand through the uniform mat of dark green, densely growing blades, remarking on the lack of a single dandelion.
Liz immediately and enthusiastically attributed this utter absence of the offending taraxacum officinale to the brutal effectiveness of her dandelion digger, a tool she claimed was almost impossible to find these days, new or vintage.
The very next day, without a word about it between us, Stephanie went out and found one with a green rubberized handle at the garden center, and I got this one with the wooden handle at a garage sale. Later when we discovered our parallel quests to straightaway hunt down this allegedly elusive object, we had a good laugh. I guess you could say we’re on the same page, just using different adjectives.
Despite the presence of two deadly dandelion diggers in the shed, the weeds continue to sprout and spread with impunity. My theory is we intuitively realized, in tandem, the futility of unsheathing a high-powered rifle when carpet bombing is the order of the day.