The to-do list was…

The to-do list was way too ambitious, but I did manage lunch with Lori (delicious, at Lulu's; love their potstickers), stopping at a used bookstore next door (mystery for me, picture book for Kavi, how-to-write-and-illustrate-kids-book for the heck of it, and a vegetarian cookbook because Karina is coming from Australia to stay for three weeks (:-)) and I think I'm going to need some help with making a satisfying vegetarian household for that period). All for just a few dollars, plus the joy of browsing -- I am going to be very sad if all the used bookstores go away. Kids, back in my day, there were these wonderful things called bookstores...

The bookstore was followed by picking up of a few perennials at Gethsemane (an early birthday gift from Jed, who knows how I mourn my barren yard) and a tiny end table found at Nadeau, which nestles rather perfectly next to the comfy chair in our living room and finally gives me someplace to put my drink down. I like it a lot -- it's solid mahogany, very reasonably priced (I love Nadeau), and has a decorative finial that looks vaguely Indian (not surprising, since it was made in India). A nice Indo-Victorian sort of piece. I should perhaps have gotten two, since I also need an end table in my study, but I sort of hate duplicating things, so maybe I'll just wait until I find a different neat piece. I had hoped Nadeau might fill some of my other desires, such as a corner dresser for our guest room (so guests have someplace to put their clothes away other than a suitcase), but no luck. If you know of a good corner dresser (cheap), please let me know.

That took 'til 4. Then there was some cooking and gardening. Lots of gardening (and lots more planting to do in the morning -- I had to stop because the mosquitoes were coming out).

I have mowed my new lawn for the first time! (The second mowing -- Kev did the first one.) It's a tiny little diamond of grass in a vast sea of mulch (eventually to be mulch + perennials), but now I feel like a true suburbanite. Triumph! (And a deep, lingering sense of unease.)

We have a little cheap manual mower, which is quite easy and fun to use, at least the first time. :-) We'll also have a reasonable-sized backyard of grass eventually, once the painters finally paint the house and are done with heavy machinery in the backyard -- but that's probably not 'til next summer at this point. We'll see how the little manual mower does on that -- if it's too hard, we'll get a powered one of some kind.

It was definitely a mild workout just doing the little front bit -- though not so much the mowing, but the raking up of clippings afterwards. I thought about just leaving them, which I had heard was okay, but the long-delayed raking of the first batch revealed big yellow patches, so clearly, the clippings were killing the grass underneath. Maybe just because the grass was so long when we cut it the first time, so there were so many clippings? If we cut it more frequently, can we skip the raking stage? Because mowing is fun, but raking's sort of a pain. Experienced lawn-owners, please advise.

It does drive me a bit nuts that the edge of the diamond doesn't actually parallel the diagonal path. I'm think I'm going to have to take up a strip of lawn to make it even. Is that overly-compulsive of me?

3 thoughts on “The to-do list was…”

  1. If grass gets too high, it does seem to be good to rake it after you mow, but otherwise it is better to leave it, in my experience. The clippings create a thatch which holds water in the soil, slowing evaporation, so that the grass is more hardy during dry spells. I suspect that it also recycles soil minerals so that it is not necessary to fertilize as much, but this is just a guess.

  2. With new grass from seed or new sod, you really have to baby it the first year or it dies. After it’s established, you can leave the clippings and stop watering it all the time.

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