The neighborhood is full of them, those little yellow signs: “Keep Off Pesticide Applied.” Crooked Hankie and Sweet Miss Tibbit prance by them without a pause, sniffing and nibbling and thinking dog thoughts. I read them, I observe the lush green carpet lawns, and I get it. That stuff is soft and inviting and looks just like a fresh new shag carpet. I mean, I guess it looks like a fresh new shag carpet because I haven’t actually observed one of those, mainly I see used, flattened, stinky shag carpets awaiting tear-out in the less updated homes the WideEyedHousehold has purchased over the decades.
But then, our evening walkies round the corner into our WideEyedYard and the joyous chaos of bees buzzing and butterflies fluttering and beetles creeping among the taller green stuff is so soothing to me. And to Hankie and Sweet Tibbit, because they stop, drop, and roll as soon as they hit it, standing up reeking of green clover and scattered with little clover blooms.
Our yard is cut long because the Museum of Natural History in London posted on social media that this is the best way to create habitat for hedge hogs. [Pause.] I know. Hedge hogs do not live in the yards of Buffalo, NY, but in the spirit of supporting the importance of hedge hog foraging space, I complied with the suggestion.
Something wonderful happened to the yard in mid-June. The long grass went to seed with little fronds flowing in the breeze, and the clover grew taller and bloomed. Our city yard is a mini-prairie, rolling and surrounded by mostly edible shrubs, and herbs, and flowers, and trees. The bee hive susurrates in the back and little honey bees with leg pockets full of honey and their little sacs full of nectar come and go.
If I stand still and wait, the big bees, little bees, fuzzy bees, and butterflies swirl around me. The dogs flop and pant. The gardens rustle and push push push for the warm summer sun in our short growing season. It is pure joy to lie down in the clover with the whole lot of the garden things and know, everyone can enter here. There isn’t any pesticide. No one need keep off.