A football pitch, a golf course, a meadow or a field to a Wimbledon tennis court…
Grass is indeed a hallowed and important plant. Anyone visiting Asia for the first time will stare agog at bamboo being used as scaffolding poles to erect skyscrapers. A grass as strong as steel, who knew?
The most important and versatile plant on earth, given that it sustains all life; feeding animals and humans and let’s not forget the ever so particular and choosy Giant Pandas.
But as well as filling our bellies, grass also feeds our soul and particularly the soul of men. A certain type of man anyway and by grass I am specifically referring to a lawn.
Some men suffer with a lawn fetish. Lawn Porn might be a good way to describe it and I understand it to a point because that pristine green surface can be captivating. The cutting of grass and the associated aromas, seeding, aerating, rolling, tending, defending, edging, feeding… and sitting back and marvelling at the pristine result, the fruits of one’s labour. The hallowed turf as it is known.
But not all men.
To begin with, not everyone has a lawn and those lucky enough to have ‘land’ or a garden might not be interested in lawns, like me for instance when 20 years ago I took a brave decision. With 3 little boys already and a wife intent on adding to her brood, we replaced our lawn with The Truman Show lookalike plastic grass. Anathema to the purists but I had no regrets.
In fact, I felt quite smug with my maintenance free garden. For me, the lawn care aisle in the DIY store was akin to the petfood aisle in the supermarket – I could ignore it completely. That is, until we added Tessa to the family and my life became truly complete.
But still I had no need for a lawn mower. The rain didn’t torment me because the grass would grow and challenge me to find the time and inclination to cut it back. Not to mention the problem of discarding the blinking cuttings…
But over the years my smugness receded as my plastic grass became less lustrous and attractive. Akin to a man’s head, the tufty pile has gone, worn out and down. Pressure from below with weeds and grasses pushing through and from above with leaves, blossoms and all kinds of airborne debris including Tessa’s various excretions. My lawn is looking tired, and I worry because I feel in the ether that Nikki is considering expensive remedial options like replacing fabric.
And then something beautiful happened…
It is rare for me to flag up the virtues of social media and the merits of aimlessly scrolling and watching random videos posted by people I don’t know and will never meet but I can make exceptions when I chance upon a machine that breathes new life into plastic lawns. Basically, a very angry and aggressive rotating brush with a collecting hopper. The short video captivated me. I was hooked and sold. With one click, my own machine was incoming, I could hardly contain myself.
Jet washing a patio is said to be one of the great jobs. An annual task that fills the heart with joy and particularly since it usually heralds the dawning of the warmer and more colourful days ahead.
But even the grimiest patio coming back to life pales against the feeling of a 20-year-old plastic lawn getting some tough love from an angry machine with a point to prove. In the case of our ‘lawn’, over two decades of shit and general detritus being ripped to the surface. The full hopper alone made my heart soar because my plastic lawn has been reborn. Plastic strands are standing for the first time in years. It has lustre and body again and it is green once more… and even more intoxicating, because I hadn’t told Nikki about my purchase, my excitement for her returning home was reminiscent of how I used to feel on 24th December.
Nikki stared at her old-but-now-new garden in disbelief, and I basked in glory. She has needed to be patient, but after all these years, her husband has finally come through for her.
And now I get it.
I get why men love their lawns. I love mine, too, albeit mostly for money I have saved.
For anyone with a plastic lawn that has seen better days – with this link, you can love your lawn again and feel euphoric in the process. You can thank me later…
To be clear – this is not an affiliate link and I have not been paid for this post. I blog for FREE. Making the world a better place is payment enough.