Get Your Mower out of My Driveway


Hang up and mow!

There are things you would think you’d never have to explain to others, but no. That old term Common Sense seems to have aged poorly, becoming a wistful irony at best, an oxymoron in general practice. Sense, yes; in abundance. Good sense? O, would that it were so!

I’m recollecting the time when our then-regular yard service crew decided it was time for a general pruning in all of their clients’ gardens. Besides the butchery of our precious rhododendrons that made me almost apoplectic when I came home that evening to their skeletal remains–a heartrending sight that on its own would have driven me to buy a cheap push mower and better pruning shears and end the ‘service’ contract–they decided to clear the gate at the north side of the house. Not having noticed, apparently, that I’d sealed that useless gate in favor of the wide open passage on the driveway side of the house, where mowers and wheelbarrows could pass with ease. So they tore out the tender seedling Garry oak by the gate, the one I’d coddled up to nearly five feet tall.

I would have assumed that a longtime yard ‘care’ business would employ people who knew the basics, if not the art, of pruning to do it; the several years of assiduous nursing it took me to save the rhodies were spent in wonder that it was so evidently not obvious to that crew. But yanking up a slow-growing native seedling tree without asking? Really? If I’d had the broom to ride, I’d’ve been skywriting that company’s performance review with the postscript, ‘RIP: Common Sense.’

No, it was not the end of the world, or even (happily) the end of those brave, scrappy rhododendrons. I suppose the only thing that suffered fatally in the event was my trust in that yard company. That, and my mower-free personal time per the end of their contract. But it certainly dealt a glancing blow, as well, to my naΓ―vetΓ© about what is and isn’t Common Sense. Guess there’s always time to learn new things. Just keep away from my garden babies in the meantime and nobody gets hurt.


I don’t care if it *is* growing in a crack on the driveway; if it’s in bloom, don’t mess with it.

12 thoughts on “Get Your Mower out of My Driveway

  1. Mom hired a service to mow a few years back, when she became unable to do it. She walked the yard with the foreman before their first visit, pointing out plants of note…and came home to find her nearly-blooming peonies mown-down.
    That was the end of that.
    (No worries – they’re tough old plants that came back the next year!)

    • Amazing how dim people can be about what is seemingly not only simple but part of their supposed areas of expertise. No wonder if your mom threw up her hands in despair! Better that then just plain throwing up, I guess. πŸ˜‰ Thank goodness for plant resilience. πŸ™‚

  2. Around here these companies are used to simply mowing lawn after lawn…one is not much different from the other…one of my friends had her strawberry patch mowed. Another had a contractor throw verboten chemicals all over her organic garden beds…

    • ((Sighhhhh!)) Sad that there aren’t any classes or proficiency tests required before someone can hang up a lawn mowing shingle (not that plants can’t often recover in spite of the most ridiculous depredations)–it seems that there are too many people who think that lawn care is a skill-free task. πŸ˜‰ Yikes!

  3. Wow, I would certainly gone berserk! Our lawn guy almost falls off the mower to duck out of the way of branches rather than stop it and get off and trim anything. Now I’m thinking that maybe that’s a good thing! Your ‘horror’ story also reminded me of a few years back when we were having our garage roof re-done. It was early April and the daffodils were all out in the perennial bed on one side of the garage. The workers promised to throw all the old roofing material into the driveway at the front. They were doing so very obediently until all-of-a-sudden I noticed that there was a HEAVY tarpaulin over the daffodils, which roofing tiles, etc. were being thrown down on. I was like a mad woman rushing out in my morning ‘attire’, screaming “my daffodils! my daffodils!”, even in my madness CAREFULLY lifting the tarpaulin off while I heard one of the roofers say: “Oh, they will bounce back.” I salvage those dear daffodils pretty well – a few broke off, and I had to stake the rest to an upright position (I think they were leery of assuming that position again). It was so VERY upsetting. So I know exactly how you felt. And, yes, I cherish those little masterpieces that push their way up through those cracks, too! XO

    • I guess not everyone has the same respect for tender and wayward plants. Too bad some of the disrespectful are yard care workers!! Perhaps they learned from their experience with you–one hopes! At least you saved the poor suffering daffs. πŸ˜€

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