My Green Heaven

Some of my long time blogging friends may remember that I moved about 6 months ago. I live in a nice suburban neighborhood with identical houses and identical yards as far as the eye can see. The electric and phone lines are buried underground so as not to spoil the picturesque view with ugly poles and wires. Every morning when it’s quiet and the streets are empty I look out my window to see the sun rise over “my” neighborhood. As I take in this view I feel like the king of suburbia. It’s perfect. A little too perfect. In the evening couples walk their dogs and greet each other cheerily. Joggers and roller bladers cruise the streets looking healthy and wholesome. Kids play street hockey and skateboard. If a Hollywood director wanted to cast a neighborhood to play the picture-perfect, average American neighborhood, my neighborhood would be a shoo-in for the part. There’s just one problem. Everyone else’s lawn.

As far as I can tell, every other homeowner in my neighborhood is psychotic about their lawn care. I have no idea how anyone with a full-time job can devote as much time to landscaping and grooming their lawns as the people do. The thing is, I don’t even see them doing it. It’s like they’ve got Edward Scissorhands living in their homes and he only comes out at night. Don’t get me wrong, I’m no slacker. I mow my lawn often enough that if I parked my car in the yard I could still find it the next day. I once owned a pool table whose surface wasn’t as smooth as these people’s yards. And it’s not just the grass. It’s the little scenic settings they create. Little benches in a tiny grove of trees in the corner of the yard. A rustic wheelbarrow with flowers growing out of it just so. Not a tree or bush is without perfect little border blocks surrounding it. It’s like I’m living in The Stepford Neighborhood. Talk about peer pressure! I’m afraid that if I skip mowing my lawn one week they’ll form a lynch mob and storm my suburban castle with torches and pitchforks, being careful not to step on any landscaping on the way over. I refuse to cave into this peer pressure to meet their insane standards of lawn care. I do have a plan though. You knew I would didn’t you?

I’m going to buy lawn fertilizer. Lots of it. No, not for my yard you idiot! For theirs! At night while my neighbors sleep, exhausted from another day of landscaping, I’ll be out there fertilizing their lawns, causing them to grow at an astronomical rate. Their lawns will be like those Play-Doh people where you can see the hair growing right out their heads. There will be no way they can keep up! And I’ll be planting weeds everywhere, even if I have to pollinate them myself. I’ll have the best yard in the neighborhood within a week! (pause for maniacal laughter) This should work perfectly, unless Edward Scissorhands catches me.

18 responses to “My Green Heaven

  1. ****upping your lithium dosage*****

  2. Who would have ever thought that you, Dr. Phil, would be concerned about “Keeping Up With the Jones’s”?

  3. I could swear that you and I live in the same neighborhood, even if on opposite sides of the continent. My former neighbor used to compete with me in lawn maintenance. If I had cut mine while she was at work I could guarantee that five minutes after arriving home, she would be out cutting hers. Ultimately she confessed that if she did arrive home and see that mine was cut, she would utter “Shit — Ian’s cut his grass. Now I have to do mine.” Another neighbor whose lawn would challenge a putting green, we refer to as Mr. Anal, and I’m not sure how many hours of the week he devotes to his. My attitude is pretty much laissez-faire like yours, but I do like your plan. Suburban terrorism with style.

  4. You could also replace your lawn with AstroTurf. You’d never have to mow the lawn again and your grass would always be green.

  5. While I take considerable pleasure in cutting my large expanse of grass, I have no illusions about my yard being a showplace that might inspire the neighbors to either keep up with or destroy my efforts. But like you, I have seen some fanatical lawn carre efforts that make me wonder how the effect was achieved. Then I discovered a book about lawn cutting patterns and the techniques involved written by a guy named David Mellor, who was a groundskeeper at a baseball stadium, that described cutting swirls and circles and logos. I didn’t buy the book–I’m not that crazy. But I don’t have any weeds.

  6. Wow….you DO live in the stepford area. I was in a neighborhood like that last night, and I thought the same thing about it…it creeped me out sorta.

  7. It isn’t easy being green, Phil.

  8. hey, if my lawn is getting long and i have the time and ambition to mow it, i will. eventually.hey – did you notice i did NOT comment on your last post? i was not about to fall victim to your reverse psychology. heh. 😉

  9. I think someone is just jealous. :o)

  10. I used fertilizer for our lawn…big mistake! After putting it on, i didn’t water it, woke up the next morning……it was all DEAD!! It burnt the whole lawn LOL!

  11. You live in perfect suburbia?I don’t believe it.Not one bit. 😉

  12. Jessica- Welcome back! Long time no see! Kim- I’m not concerned with keeping up, just amazed at the amount of effort these psychos put into their lawns. It’s crazy.Ian- That neighbor of yours is a little crazy. In my old neighborhood my friend next door and I sort agreed to be slackers together. It worked out great. As long as our lawns were both the same length no one could tell they needed cutting.Cinthia- You know I thought of saying that exact thing in the post. If I did that I’m sure one by one the rest of the neighbors would start doing the same.

  13. Bobciz- No one cuts patterns in their lawns, but there are a few that favor the diagonal lines. I’d love to see the lawn at the house of the guy that wrote that book. He probably cuts decorations into it for each holiday.Princess- You’re exactly right. It is almost creepy how idyllic it is. It seems too perfect, like it’s got to be fake.Jmai- Again, brilliant! I wish I had thought of that for the title!say rah!- That’s generally my attitude toward lawn mowing. Good for you on resisting my reverse psychology. I did miss your comment.

  14. Linny- No, I’m not jealous, just freaked out. What makes these people so crazy about their lawns as a group. Every neighborhood usually has a few of these psychos, but here it’s everyone. It’s like they’ve been brainwashed.Michelle- Ok, whether I kill their lawns or cause them to grow like crazy I still ed up with the best lawn. I win, and isn’t that all that really matters?Berly- The houses and yards look perfect, but the some of the people seem odd. I think I’ve moved into some sort of cult neighborhood.

  15. Have you ever thought of buying a goat and letting him take care of the grass? Then your neighbors would volunteer to cut it for you if you would get rid of the goat.

  16. the lawn services here are making a killing, and it is hard for the rest of us to keep up with the professionals. no one around here seems to have the time to do their own lawns.

  17. Lemme guess, Long Island?

  18. My dad and both of my siblings cut their grass about 3 times a week. It’s usually smoother than my face at any given day. When the leaves start falling, they tret it like a carpet…it’s unbelievable.Meanwhile, I have a hard time cutting my lawn once a week.While my father is outside cutting the grass, I’m inside reading and writing blogs. Priorites, I guess.Personally, I just don’t get it.

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