As I was pulling up handfuls of crab-grass, the other day, I couldn't help but reflect on the people that got us in to this gardening mess. It's the British, there's no two ways about it. The minute they pull up a boat on to a foreign shore, they set about Britishing-up every thing. If you've never read The Arctic Grail (possibly the driest Pierre Berton novel ever written) you get a real sense of how British the British need to be. Let me summarise: a bunch of British explorers decide to find the Northwest Passage. They leave their families, ignore everything the indigenous people of the Arctic have to tell them (that would be “going native” and that's just a sign of weakness, kind of like parachutes for aviators during the First World War), get hopelessly lost, eat lead, go crazy, eat one another and die. Repeat.

My point, the British are a bit stubborn. So naturally when they moved out west in the colony of Canada, they couldn't leave well enough alone. Prairie grasses, wind-swept fields, coniferous trees... Oh no, none of that was good enough for the British. “Quick,” they cried. “Look at all the space, let's all make private gardens with each house that look like Hyde Park!”

Hence the reason we're all out mowing our lawns, pulling up the stuff that grows really well and replacing it with stuff that is so delicate that you'll be lucky to see it survive to the first big hail storm that takes out your whole yard.

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