It always amazes me that as soon as the sun lingers a little longer in the sky and frost turns to dew, me and my fellow suburbanites head for the hardware store for endless buckets of multicolored mulch. Oddly for such a truly ‘green’ product made up of chunks of recycled tree branches, bark, and stumps, the stuff seems to be seen in all colors but GREEN? Who knows, maybe I lichen the look of a mold covered flower bed to match my rotting roof and anyway what’s so wrong with pairing a little red n’ green for a Springtime Christmas scene?
I wonder if this annual obscene dirt-dance offends those of us who struggle for a meal or an occasional hosing off of their darkest nooks and crookiest of crannies? After all vast vats of cash are routinely exchanged in May so my ‘burb-bound milky-skinned ilk can don crisp pairs of button-down blues, farmer tans, and make handsome houses of ‘SILT-repute’. It bothers me that I’m dumb enough also to join-in and waste gas by hauling around big brown bags of musty-have mulches, simply to cover up my slightly ‘less-brown’ mounds of soil in the planters and gulches.
Since my yard’s dandelion and crabgrass needs are always satisfied and not pressing, it’s unclear why society has scorn for the already in-place brown mud and dust made of nature’s fav top-dressing. Most anything already grows in the stuff and its use results in less of a stress-y mess and all the loss from expensive mass distribution and compost-y cost. I guess there’s good reason, like shy deer won’t try our former glory-plant’s gnawed-off leftover stalk, without the scent of fresh mulched earth nearby with ‘choco’ dye on the top.