The longest yard

090406yard.jpg Part of the front yard of Chateau Thompson: Sharing the obsession

One does not have to spend much time in Floyd County to know that many residents here are obsessed with their yards.

Homeowners here have large, well-manicured lawns that require constant, obsessive attention.

Our three-and-a-half acre front yard (above) would be considered large in many areas but is about average here, although ours is on a slope that is about 35 degrees in some places which makes mowing a real adventure.

But, according to CBS Sunday Morning, obsession with yards is a national trend:

"It gets mowed twice a week," Mike Walls says of his lawn.
In Hilliard, Ohio, Walls, and his wife, Jenny, are self-described lawn fanatics.
For some people, working in the yard is therapy. For the Walls, it's a sign they may need therapy.
"He's obsessive with the yard and the grass and the lines being straight and the edging and then I like the gardening and the flowers," Jenny says.
By one estimate there are 58 million lawn-owners in the country, turning what was simple maintenance into a national pastime.
"It's been known to be contagious, though, and we don't think that's a bad thing. Our neighbors see us mowing and they come over and ask us how we get the lawn like this," Mike says.
Mike has even been known to mow in the rain. Mike admits that he becomes irked when neighbors fail to keep their lawns mowed.
"I have a tendency to wander aimlessly down the road a little ways and do another person's lawn because of that," he says. Professor Ted Steinberg studies the environment's role in American history. "I have etched into my mind -- really burned into my mind -- this memory of my father mowing, watering, fertilizing.
He used to set up the sprinkler in such a way so that every single blade of grass would get some water," Steinberg says.
In the postcard perfect community of Shaker Heights, Ohio, he found the perfect subject for his next book -- right out his own front door. "I took a walk in the neighborhood and I just couldn't believe my eyes.
The lawns of some of my neighbors made the perfect lawns of my Long Island past look like a bunch of beat up old cow pastures. I thought to myself, 'What's up with this,'" Steinberg says.
That curiosity turned into "American Green: The Obsessive Quest For The Perfect Lawn." "There are anywhere between 25 and 40 million acres of turf in the U.S., which is an area about the size of Kentucky -- perhaps as large as Florida. So I would say yes, it's a deeply entrenched American institution," he says.

090406yard.jpg Part of the front yard of Chateau Thompson: Sharing the obsession

One does not have to spend much time in Floyd County to know that many residents here are obsessed with their yards.

Homeowners here have large, well-manicured lawns that require constant, obsessive attention.

Our three-and-a-half acre front yard (above) would be considered large in many areas but is about average here, although ours is on a slope that is about 35 degrees in some places which makes mowing a real adventure.

But, according to CBS Sunday Morning, obsession with yards is a national trend:

"It gets mowed twice a week," Mike Walls says of his lawn.

In Hilliard, Ohio, Walls, and his wife, Jenny, are self-described lawn fanatics.

For some people, working in the yard is therapy. For the Walls, it’s a sign they may need therapy.

"He’s obsessive with the yard and the grass and the lines being straight and the edging and then I like the gardening and the flowers," Jenny says.

By one estimate there are 58 million lawn-owners in the country, turning what was simple maintenance into a national pastime.

"It’s been known to be contagious, though, and we don’t think that’s a bad thing. Our neighbors see us mowing and they come over and ask us how we get the lawn like this," Mike says.

Mike has even been known to mow in the rain. Mike admits that he becomes irked when neighbors fail to keep their lawns mowed.

"I have a tendency to wander aimlessly down the road a little ways and do another person’s lawn because of that," he says. Professor Ted Steinberg studies the environment’s role in American history. "I have etched into my mind — really burned into my mind — this memory of my father mowing, watering, fertilizing.

He used to set up the sprinkler in such a way so that every single blade of grass would get some water," Steinberg says.

In the postcard perfect community of Shaker Heights, Ohio, he found the perfect subject for his next book — right out his own front door. "I took a walk in the neighborhood and I just couldn’t believe my eyes.

The lawns of some of my neighbors made the perfect lawns of my Long Island past look like a bunch of beat up old cow pastures. I thought to myself, ‘What’s up with this,’" Steinberg says.

That curiosity turned into "American Green: The Obsessive Quest For The Perfect Lawn." "There are anywhere between 25 and 40 million acres of turf in the U.S., which is an area about the size of Kentucky — perhaps as large as Florida. So I would say yes, it’s a deeply entrenched American institution," he says.

Share:

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on pinterest
Pinterest
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn

3 Responses

  1. That is a rather sizeable stretch of front yard. You need two or three kangaroos and a few gnus grazing on it to really give it that rustic, out-in-the-country look…

    😉

  2. I really like that gazebo. Gazebos are such an elegant and civilized way of enjoying a cup of hot coffee or iced tea with a loved one or neighbor/friend and talking about this, that, or the other thing.

Comments are closed.

On Key
Related Posts
Keeping time around the world

Keeping time around the world

In a period of my adult, professional, life, I spent many days (and nights) on planes flying around the world. For many of those years,