03.30.09

Mow my lawn

Posted in Society at 11:58 by RjZ

When I was a kid, my family was, I don’t know, not great at landscaping. This was supported by me because my older brother never seemed to mow the lawn (this could be selective memory but I don’t remember him doing it even once) and, naturally, I wasn’t too keen on it either. So one time when I heard the sound of the neighbor’s mower strangely too close and looked out the window to see him finishing off mowing our yard, I thought “awesome!”

Years later I think it finally dawned on me that it wasn’t just kindness that motivated our neighbor’s labor. It was embarrassment at how bad his house looked next to our unkept house. For my mother’s benefit here, I should point out that the inside of our house was always very clean. We just didn’t have a handle on the gardening.

Today, I own my home. Sure, if I had been just a little less responsible, I’d own a home twice as large as this one and the government would be offering to reduce my mortgage, but I’ve already ranted about that. When I moved in, extremely large juniper hedges that offered quite a bit of privacy and made my driveway look like the maze scene from Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining. I liked these hedges, but over the years, already tall hedges have grown beyond trimmer reach and have more than threatened to take over the entire driveway.Monster Privacy Hedge

It occurred to me that I was becoming that house on the block that everybody looked at and said ‘harumph’ under their breath. Honestly, I am not sure I care that much about their inaudible harumphs, but waiting for someone else to come and trim my hedges seems neither likely, nor fair.
Thousands of dollars later, (!) the hedges are gone and in their place is a sprawling xeriscape garden, currently populated with rocks, twigs, and little empty rounds spots of dirt which, if they survive the snow, will become native (or nearly native) bushes and flowers and grasses served by a trickle from the drip irrigation. Until frost danger is left behind with the winter, I have to water everything by hand. The other day I was spraying my investment with a hose, when the neighbor across the street called out to me.

“Don’t think it’s really going to snow tonight?”

“It cost too much money to risk it. I’ve got to make sure I can’t be blamed if the twigs and dirt never grow.”

“Well, it looks great, by the way, really great.”

Rocks and dead bushesHmm. I don’t talk to the neighbors much. I don’t know this guy’s name and all we’ve really discussed so far is that the music coming from his garage makes it right into my house and could he please turn it down? And yet, as much as I said I don’t care what they think and that the guy mowing our lawn for me when I was a kid just seemed incredibly convenient, I’ve got to admit it. It felt pretty good that this ridiculous amount of money to remove hedges and plant some flowers and rocks is actually recognized as a good thing. I guess I can finally be sure I am not that guy. I just hope the neighbors will come by and pull weeds for me later….

3 Comments »

  1. erin said,

    March 30, 2009 at 16:47

    wow, that really opens up the front of the house and allows you to see and talk to your neighbors. how nice.

  2. RjZ said,

    March 30, 2009 at 18:08

    Yeah, cause that was obviously the point. I should have a better picture up, but I think this illustrates the desolation that I paid good money for.

  3. nancy said,

    April 1, 2009 at 22:07

    I think you should have kept the hedges and put a real maze in them. How many people have one of those on their front lawn?

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