The Scent of Green

Here in the American Midwest, it is usually mid April when we get our first whiff of freshly cut grass. Often spawned by the efforts of a fastidious neighbor, trying to annihilate the first crop of dandelions, the familiar smell wafts about in the warm, afternoon breeze, confirming the fact that winter has faded to the north.

More than a sign of the season, the odor of cut grass, like that of wood smoke, is sure to trigger memories of our youth; visions of Little League baseball, backyard cookouts and suburban parks all come to mind. Of course, it also conjures up the exasperation of those seemingly endless teenage chores and the hot, muggy air of a Midwestern summer.

While a manicured lawn is both the pride of American homeowners and an affront to nature's sensibilities, the fragrance of grass clippings is welcomed by gardeners and naturalists alike. It is, after all, the scent of green.