Need Help?

Allan designs and plants flowering gardens in Montreal, Zone 5 [USDA Zone 4] .

See website, design work and favorite flowering plants at

Consultation and coaching for do-it-yourselfers is provided. Occasional emailed questions are welcome and answered free of charge. Oui, je parle francais.

See my work on Pinterest at Garden Guru Montreal

« Web Photos That I LIke | Main | Web Photos That I Like »

Musing About a Neighbor Who Mows

Few homeowners in my neighborhood are handy around the house. Less than one quarter of one percent, mow their lawns, themselves. The population consists of hard working professionals and entre- preneurs who do not regard chores around the house as therapeutic or enjoyable. On weekends, they spend quality time with their families, attend houses of worship, or play golf.  That is why it was so remarkable to see one of the neighbors cutting the grass himself.

The neighbor is a first generation Canadian with a European Mediterranean heritage. When I worked in industry, I supervised members of his community for most of my career. I came to admire them for their attitude towards work. They are part of a population of physically strong individuals who do not shun hard labor and whose proud work ethic is incomparable. What is fascinating is that they do not differentiate between work and play. Their bodies are never too tired to do anything and work is as pleasurable as recreation. In that case, one might infer that my neighbor is not working when he cuts the grass.

Last season, I designed a garden for a client from that same demographic group. She lived with her mother who, although she was over 80 years old, still managed to maintain a vegetable garden, by herself, all summer long. I consider that admirable because, where I live, a woman aged 80 gives up her home to move into an assisted living residence. 

I hope that members of my neighbor’s community never lose their work ethic, as they assimilate into the culture of North America. They set a standard that most of us can only dream of attaining. By the way, I forgot to mention one detail. In spite of the fact that most of my neighborhood are "comfortable",  no one considers himself or herself that blessed that they can afford to drive a Porsche. The neighbor who mows the lawn by himself keeps one tucked away in his garage and drives it on weekends.

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments (4)

I remember when my Great-Grandmother was in her late 90s and still went out to putter in her garden.
We don't see much of that any more these days.

March 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKara

I love it ! It shows that some of us know what to spend our money on.


March 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEileen

The physical labor involved in gardening is part of its appeal to me. Why spend money and time sweating in a gym when I can spend money on plants and sweat in my garden? My dream is to be like my great Aunt Annie, who lived independently on her little farm and died in her garden when she was in her 90s.

March 29, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterdebsgarden

60 is the new 40! There is much to be said for the people you so unabashedly express your admiration for - your take and their existence are a breath of fresh air. It seems to be such a "Cubicle World" these days, so many people have problems with inactivity and obesity, poor hearts and the likes. The difference between work and play is attitude, lol. How well put.

March 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSteve

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>