History Of Mowing at May Dreams Gardens

I remember the day several years ago when someone at work ask me if I had ever mowed the lawn after Thanksgiving. I said no. They claimed I had. And I said “Let me check my records”.

At that moment, as everyone turned and looked at me, I realized that it was quite possible, in fact very probable, that I’m in the minority in keeping track of when the first mowing and the last mowing of the season take place each year. The past several years I’ve actually kept track of every mowing. And I keep track in my ten year garden journal.

I embrace mowing.

Having kept track, I can provide a brief history of mowing here at May Dreams Gardens, USDA Zone 5b, going back to 2001.

The earliest I’ve ever started mowing? That would be today, March 26th, this year.

The latest I’ve ever started mowing? That would be April 12 back in “aught one” (2001)

The most probable dates for me to start mowing? March 28th (2003, 2004) and March 31st ( 2006, 2007)

And just so you have a complete history, I mowed for the first time on April 6th in 2002, April 9th in 2005, and April 7th in 2008.

I started off my mowing this year with the usual “first mowing” festivities, speeches and ribbon cutting ceremony. The temperature was very comfortable, in the low 60’s, and the skies were clear blue. I wore my best gardening jeans and a nice green t-shirt and my ‘just for gardening’ sunglasses. The mower started easily and purred like a kitten.

Many of the same flowers that were blooming last year when I mowed for the first time on April 7th, were blooming today on March 26th, confirming for me that Spring has arrived a little earlier this year, by maybe two weeks. This is in spite of the first Crocus blooming later this year than it has ever bloomed. Go figure.

Some of the blooms include Narcissus, Hyacinth, Star Magnolia, Vinca minor, Helleborus, Forsythia, Chiondoxia, and Puschkinia libanotica, pictured above.

I’ll admit that I could have waited a few more days, even a week, to mow the lawn for the first time this year, as it really has just started to grow. It’s at that stage where there are clumps of grass growing up tall in some places, but elsewhere the grass hasn’t really started to grow very much at all.

But I mowed anyway, because I wanted to even out the lawn in preparation for A Major Lawn Event taking place tomorrow evening and Saturday.

A Major Lawn Event.

After years of thinking about doing it, getting an estimate for doing it, and thinking about doing it some more, I am finally having the sod removed along the fence in the back and creating a new border for shrubs, perennials and who knows what else.

Consider this the before picture. The sod cutting festivities begin tomorrow after work, weather permitting.

Details to follow on how I removed the sod and what I plan to do with this new planting area


  1. Woohoo, more garden! It's going to be great. I look forward to the updates.
    I also keep track of first & last mowing (or I usually do), but there's no way I could write down every mowing. There's not enough space in the 10 yr journal during the frenzied garden activity of spring. (Love the Pushkinia!)

  2. No fair! Our grass is still beige and brown. I guess the bright side is that I don't have to mow yet.

  3. So I am guessing that you have fescue grass. I am in the minority in our area, though it is catching on, I have bermuda. I love a good brown yard in the winter! Makes it easier to eliminate weeds. Would love to have less grass area! Looking forward to seeing the changes you are making.

  4. I never thought of keeping track of lawn mowing but I think it's a great idea. We got a little rain yesterday, so we have the first signs of greening grass today.

  5. Hi Carol, that was a bit of a surprise ending after the history of mowing lesson. As a fellow record keeper, I don't believe the last mow of the year has ever been recorded here. At the end is more of a leaf and pine needle mowing than grass cutting. Your bed along the fence will be a marvel and so much fun to see the progress from infancy to adult.

  6. I can tell you are geared up for your sod removal since you mowed the grass for the first time already. How exciting to have a big project to do. I hope your sod is removed easily. That is a big job. I hope you have plenty of help. Oh the fun of choosing shrubs flowers etc to plant there.

  7. Carol, that's very exciting - more garden less lawn is what I constantly strive for in my little yard. But I so hate the back break of digging sod... Congrats, good luck and be careful!

  8. Yay! for more garden. I think the first and last mowings of the season are milestone events, just like the first snowdrop and the last colchicum, and should be recorded. They provide more phenological records to determine the true start of the season, as you demonstrate.

    Personally, I always find it more difficult to track the last of something. I always thing there's going to be one more, so I can wait to write it down. Two weeks later I realize that was the last one, now when did it happen?

  9. I'm looking forward to watching the progress of the new bed. I foresee nursery visits galore in your future as you choose new plants for that bed!

  10. I can't wait to see what new garden will look like.

  11. I really like your organizational style, and I look forward to hearing more about the lawn's summer growth.~~Dee

  12. I'm a tad disappointed, I had hoped you'd be mowing with a push mower and in a long white dress. Alas, the mower purrs, I think that means it's not a push mower.
    (Can't wait to hear about the new plantings!)

  13. Yipee! A new place to play in the dirt! Nice and sunny too!

    would you believe it!!

    the word verification for this comment is:


  14. I'm thrilled for you! Looks like a great area for a new bed!

  15. We're not mowing yet as it is supposed to snow tomorrow! I may have to add those first and last dates to my record keeping — though we are always a bit late and lazy about first mowing and even last mowing. Can't wait to follow the progress of this new garden.

  16. I embrace more garden area! You will love having it. Planning it and planting a new area are so much fun. Can't wait to see how it turns out.

    We haven't mowed at The Havens, yet, but we really need to. But we decided to wait until after the snow they have predicted tomorrow. Hopefully, the weatherman will be totally wrong and it won't snow and it won't get ungodly cold so we'll actually get to enjoy the plums that the plum trees set last week.

  17. Ah, I do not embrace mowing. Perhaps if I had a reel mower whose blades I could keep sharp.. But I do embrace the idea of expanding the garden. Can't wait to hear of your plans!

  18. I love your record keeping abilities...I have none! We celebrate how infrequently we mow...but now that I have my new tiny lawn and my new little reel mower it ought to be celebrated and noted! Have a fun weekend with the sod removal and garden planning! gail

  19. YOU ARE FUNNY and you inspire me to cut the grass. I see you have more space for plants :)

  20. You thought about digging up that strip along the fence for years? Oh, Carol...we are so different - would take 5 seconds for me to decide there'd be a border there...isn't that why edges exist?

    Glad you enjoyed spring mowing in a T-shirts and sunglasses.

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  21. Yay! More garden, less lawn. I am not a lawn lover, myself. Every year I rip out a little more lawn. Lawn = boring. Garden = Fabulous. The Significant Other loves that because there is less lawn for him to mow each year ;)

    I can't wait to see the result of your lawn-ripping-out project.

  22. Hi Carol,
    Oh, my... I can see a great curvy border planting coming. Perfect place to make a new bed. I just can't help myself... every season I dig up more grass to make more beds. I'm in over my head this spring with two new large ones I'm planting out.

    As you probably know, there is not a "last mowing" around here. It is one of those year round garden duties. Although it does slow down around Christmas until late February but never does the mowing equipment (mower, edger, blower) rest completely.

    You keep the best records!
    Meems @ Hoe and Shovel

  23. Your grass is much greener than mine, but isn't the grass always greener...

  24. That fence is just begging to be the backdrop to a new perennial border!


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