Well, pretty bad, as it turns out.

I returned home from a week in Geneva, Switzerland, on Wednesday night. As I came down the long and winding driveway, this is what I saw.


My husband and son had mowed the lawn.

Actually, it didn’t look so much as if someone had mowed the lawn as if some large lawn-eating monster had CHEWED the lawn and spit it back out.


The grass was cut to about three different heights–scalped, medium and skyscraper.


Tufts of tall grass sprang up here and there from the rest of the lawn like little green islands.


Impressive quantities of cut and drying grass were left long swaths.


Whole areas of the lawn were left uncut altogether.


Now, you may wonder if Harry and Ben were trying to:

a) Impress on me that I should continue to do all the lawn mowing chores and/or b) Punish me in a way that I would find exceptionally painful for going off to Switzerland and leaving them here to care for my two little dogs.

They say it was neither of these reasons. They swear that the mowing fiasco was a result of too much rain, a broken riding mower and heat. (Apparently it’s blazing hot here in Maryland in April.)

So, while my bags were left packed in the bedroom, I headed out yesterday and spent FOUR HOURS repairing the ravaged lawn. Yes, the riding mower was broken, but I managed nicely with the little push mower. And yes, I did insist that Ben help rake, although he continued to mutter that the lawn looked perfectly nice the way they had cut it.

There’s nothing like having to mow an acre of grass with a little push mower after a 10-hour flight to make you feel needed.


Tell me what you think. Am I over reacting? At the top right hand side of this page in the Totally Unscientific Survey Center, you can vote for how bad my beautiful lawn looks after a week in the care of the two men in my life. Cast your vote now!

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  • tj says:

    …Oh my, I wholeheartedly agree, THAT is terrible! Shame on you guys! Shopping in Switzerland (by the way, you go girl!) and taking care of two adorable lil’ dogs does not warrant that kind of shoddy lawncare… lol… :o)

    …Yes, I voted ‘no cooking for those guys for awhile’…

    …Blessings… :o)

  • Angela says:

    I’m going to have to stand up in defense of the guys and testify that the rain was incredible and my lawn looked similar to that with the little bits of mowing I could squeeze in. I’ve had to make double passes over a couple days because the grass was so thick and tall. I rest my case. Oh – and I’m glad you’re back!

  • They could have gone with you, right? But they didn’t so they should have taken more care with the lawn, or at least made an attempt to “fix it” before you got home.

  • Christine says:

    But don’t you feel needed? I know, I know, they could have just left a little laundry to do or maybe some dishes.

  • Bonnie says:

    It looks almost as bad as when I was mowing on our ride-on mower and didn’t realize the tire had gone flat. Suddenly I felt the mower lagging and it was because the blade was digging into the ground on one side. When I looked back, I saw a groove slowly start and get deeper and deeper as the tire went down until finally it completely scalped the lawn at the end of the track. My husband referred to it all summer as “Mommy’s track” as my kids would follow it around the lawn.

  • Mary says:

    Dear Robin,

    I think perhaps they turned into the hot dog brothers while you were way and planned on your being too tired to notice? After all, the weather is similar here and the grass grew 12 inches in a week! LOL! But, they were obviously unprepared and unintentionally made you frown, because, that’s what hot dog brothers do.

    I’m glad you are back and the grass is green but I don’t think I’d be up to walking a mower so soon…

    Mary :o)

  • jodi says:

    Absolutely priceless! Even mangled, your lawn looks better than mine, which is looking like it was hit by a glacier, with frost-heave drumlins, gravel from the driveway as glacial till, and holes in the ground where the human donkey (moi) stepped on ground that had frostheaved and was thawing, smaller holes where the Equine donkey had done a walkabout….but it’s only grass, I tell Mr. Longsuffering spouse.

  • Brenda Kula says:

    Every time I go visit my grandson, I come home to things I have to bite my tongue about when I look at the house or yard. And sometimes I don’t manage to bite my tongue, and a long ensuing battle occurs. This is why on my garden side there is no grass, so I don’t have to worry about it! But it looks like you have so much land, I don’t know! Does this stuff happen every time you leave for awhile? Perhaps it is missing you and being a little passive-aggressive about it!

  • Jennifer says:

    Unfortunately many guys are that way. There is always some excuse.

  • Libby says:

    From the viewpoint of a Texan, where this kind of lawn is inconceivable, I have to say “what’s the prob?” You’ve still got a swath of verdant lushness we could only dream of. I think it looks like an English meadow. And in a week or so, like a bad haircut, nature will even things out. Remain calm and accept the wasi-sabi side of life!

  • sky says:

    I probably would do their laundry with various colors of dye added to the water and see how they felt about the “broken washer” and the boxes of dye which accidentally fell into the water!

    good for you for demanding some help and sorry you came home to such a mess but glad you remedied it! 🙂

  • tj says:

    …Hello again, I left a comment up there earlier in regards to your lawn and looking at the photos I must admit you have a very healthy lawn! I was wondering what do you use to maintain it? Do you apply an annual treatment with Scott’s or a home remedy? Do you use any weed pre-emergent at all?

    …Sorry for all the questions but even with the ‘lawn job’ your guys did there – your grass is gorgeous!

    …Thanks and blessings… :o)

  • RuthieJ says:

    Holy cow Robin–that’s just shocking! As the ‘Goddess of All Things Lawn Related’ at my house, I totally feel your pain! I hope it won’t take you too long to get things back in order! Once again, it’s too bad I don’t live closer, ‘cuz me and John Deere would be happy to run over and help you whip that lawn back into shape!

  • My husband is in charge of mowing the lawn and he takes great pride in making all his cuts in the same direction and changes the direction each time he mows. I am in charge of telling him to fertilize, put down lime, overseed, water after 2 weeks of no rain, get out there and mow this instant before its too tall to mow. He also scalps the same high point every time he mows even though we both know its there. Men — what can you do?

  • gina says:

    robin – this is really hilarious. im so glad you told us this story because sometimes I think this kind of thing only happens to me.

  • Sheesh – right? I know that’s what you were thinking! Well, at least they tried to mow it, they get some credit for that. And they are male, after all. I’m sure it’s fine now that you’ve fixed it blade by blade with the PUSH mower. (Hmmm – guess they didn’t think of that!) I know you must be so glad to be home!

  • Lisa at Greenbow says:

    As soon as I looked at the fiasco I thought it looked like the rider had a flat tire. Ha… Pretty bad. Two men can’t push the push mower? I bet they work out too. Ha… I hope you had a good shop in Genevea

  • cathy says:

    You know what, I would have done the same thing….even push mowing is relaxing in its own way..especially after sitting for hours!

  • Kate says:

    Robin, this lawn truly looks awful. I’m sorry. It does. Too bad the mower was broken, but you figured it out, didn’t you? Yes, last week was hot for about 2-3 days. One day it was really hot, about 85 over here on the Eastern Shore! But it’s no excuse. Shame on them!

  • Terri says:

    The very reason I will not let my husband OR sons touch the lawnmower.

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  • cindee says:

    LOL I love the lawn story!!! (-: This happens whenever I let my husband mow for me. He just doesn’t have that little creative touch it takes to do it like I want(-: I am really picky when it comes to mowing. I guess thats why I get to do the job(-: At least they tried for you and it was better then leaving it long. It probably was a little easier to mow over that way(-:

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  • geek says:

    The lawn was bad but you were playing martyr by going outside the second you got home to mow it. Way to be passive-aggressive! Next time, sleep, do your laundry and then deal with the lawn. Duh.

    Hah! So nice of you to drop by!

    But really, my behavior was less passive-aggressive than obsessive-compulsive, I think.


  • If I’d ever had entertained the idea to let my husband mow our lawn, your fiasco has confirmed that we will continue…forever…to have the professional landscapers do it! See how it takes more than 2 men to do a woman’s work!??! LOL :o) Jeanne

  • Bob says:

    Men who don’t like to mow? That’s like women who don’t like to shop. Get a John Deere and let the boys go back to sleep.