This is a book by Peter H. Capstick, which, I confess, I’ve never read, although my father and younger brother both love it. No, in my mind it isn’t so much a title, but a spooky chant that echoes in my head every time I step into the back yard.
Death in the long grass, death in the long grass, death in the long grass…
Because the Ever-Suffering Mother does not have enough to do with ignoring all the housework, it is also her responsibility to ignore the yard. I would offer photographs depicting the effects of such negligence, but it is far too embarrassing.
While day-to-day yard maintenance such as lawn-mowing, leaf-raking, and porch-sweeping/de-cobwebbing suffers (and brings down property values within the immediate neighborhood), gardening is no problem at all. Give the Ever-Suffering Mother some seeds, soil, and a spade and within a few months she will give you vegetables. (Quite literally. The garbage truck driver got to take home a couple of tomatoes today.)
In fact, the success of the tomato plants in the back yard caused all manner of problems. They overstepped their boundaries. They piled over the tops of their cages like uneven, green, toppling wedding cakes. And then, then they began their pilgrimage across the lawn. I just let them drift. [Internal editor: that’s a point-of-view shift. You had been talking about yourself in third person. Me: Now I’m talking to you/myself in second person. Internal editor: throws hands in air, gives up. Me: Yeah, that’s right.]
Fast-forward a couple of months, and the tomato plants have overtaken that side of the yard.
Last week I finally hacked my way through the jungle. I wasn’t going to clip the plants completely back, as there were still a few lingering green tomatoes, but when I saw what the jungle had done to my grass (think swamp), and when I saw the fat brown slugs masticating their way through that swamp, I got a little carried away. The only reason the three plants are still in the ground is because the yard waste bin and the compost pile were overflowing.
Z was thrilled because she finally got to “break the rule” and pick all those green tomatoes.
Don’t worry, we’ve still got ten or so tomato plants in the side yard…inching their way across the long, long grass.