Monday, June 06, 2005

Hail the Tall Grass Ordinance: The Maiden Voyage Of Our New Lawn Mower

As homage to Metro's excessive growth and accumulation prohibition, we finally bought ourselves a new lawn mower and I took it out for a first spin this past weekend.

We had been paying a very nice gentleman to cut our lawns. He is dependable and very friendly. But he just cut our grass too low, lopping it off at the crown; even when I asked him to set the blade higher. I'm not sure he understood what I wanted. So, I moved the ETA of the mower up sooner than we had originally intended for the sake of the fescue.

While I feel a bit guilty about ditching our yardman, I am very pleased with the results in the back. I do not remember ever having grass so cleanly cut. Before now, I had only mowed with pre-owned mowers, which generally kind of stripped and tore the grass. I have also cut with one of those manual mowers in an attempt to be environmentally friendly, but I realized right quick that they do not cut as well as the gas mowers.

Cleanly cut grass is Tao. It's a basic thing of beauty.

I realize that there there is a person out there who does not share my appreciation of mowed grass and would just as soon make a "meadow" of his yard. However, by definition, a meadow is an expanse of land dedicated to its natural state or to pasture for livestock grazing or for harvesting hay (my paraphrase of the American Heritage Dictionary definition). An "expanse" sounds a lot bigger than the less-than-one acre of a typical city property.

More to the point, a tract of urban land that is 60' x 180' does not qualify as large enough for a "meadow" in my book. Parcels like that in far northeast Nashville near Briley Parkway may qualify as meadows and be treated as such, but in Salemtown, they are just small, unkempt lots, which catch litter and provide cover for rodents.

Allowing a resident to make a meadow of a small plot of land as long as they tend it and jump through some bureaucratic hoops to avoid being in violation of the tall grass ordinance is reasonable. It just would not work in most urban neighborhoods.

For my part, I do not like burning fossil fuels, but having a meadow on a thin slice of land close to the city is not an option for us. I do like the way that burning fossil fuels makes the grass look. Some call it manicured; I just call it harmony.

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