My rural neighborhood is more or less city-fied. They all got pasture type
fencing including the street-facing side. All is well manicured native
grasses as viewed from the street on these 5/10/20 acre plats. No native
spring flowers, they're all mowed down. No, these native flowers and their
originating plants are not in competition with native grasses. I delight
when I arrive at home to see spring alive, these white and ultra-yellow
flowers will wilt soon enough. Soon to see summer, and most, if not all of
it, will wilt and dry again in the Texas sun. I kept my fenceline around my
house, not my property line. I don't understand my neighbors, help me out.
Try living in a tract with a mandatory owners' association. Under the
CC&Rs (conditions, covenants, and restrictions) recorded on the
individual lots in the tract when the land was subdivided, the
association's architectural review committee might have more authority
than any government planning or zoning commission.
Fortunately, I don't live such a tract; but there are several very near.
In one, you can't plant a deciduous tree -- even in your back yard --
because the leaves might blow into a neighbor's swimming pool. You
can't leave your garage door open while working in your garden. And you
can't have any play equipment (e.g., swings) in your back yard if it
extends higher than the wall (not fence) around your property.
The restriction on trees is paradoxical. In the common areas of the
tract (owned by the association), there are valley white oaks (Quercus
lobata), which are deciduous and drop bushels of leaves. The
association cannot remove these trees because they were growing in the
tract before it was developed and are thus protected by county
ordinance. That's right: The association effectively owns -- and must
maintain -- trees that the association prohibits any individual
homeowner from planting.
Some of my neighbors would like to impose such an association on my
tract. They don't like the colors of some houses. They don't like the
drought-tolerant landscaping in some front yards. They don't like the
fact that I mulch my front lawn -- pink clover (Persicaria capitata)
instead of grass -- in the late fall with leaves from my valley white
oak and "evergreen" ash (not really evergreen). Fortunately, they can't
impose an association on me without my approval because it requires
recording CCRs on my lot, which they can't do.
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean
There was, now defunct, housing associaton here when I first built the house
in 2005. The only concern was raising pigs. Chickens, they backed off from
banning but was considered.
Native Live Oaks just finished doing their early spring annual leaf drop
here. I did plant 2 Pecan trees, they're too small to make any substantial
leaf drop in autumn at the moment.
I also just realized something else. The county does shoulder maintenance on
public roads here. They also mow the shoulder if its not paved. There is
much less native flower population there as well.
Except a few dandelions, my yard is free of contemptuous weeds. I mowed the
backyard last week. The front yard is primarily Bermuda, as is still a bit
short. Now I have to make the fence trim run on both sides of the
fenceline. Required as have an electric fence inside the fence to keep the
dogs from digging under the fence. The larger area for mowing outside the
fenceline, I mow after spring has finished its flower run.
After reading your take on your neighbor's property restrictions, I'm so
glad the local HOA went defunct. It seems the neighbors are doing something
similar informally here though.
If you don't like the weather in Central Texas, just give it a minute...
Tell the smart ones:
Too frequent cutting favours some species over others and leads towards loss
of diversity. They may need all of those species at some time under
Tell the rest:
It's not 'authentic' to have it so neat, back in the olden days there was no
neat. They came to escape the new and embrace the old so leave it grow
sometimes. Also riding a mower/tractor for hours gives you a tan which is
uncool and leads to skin cancer. They should stay indoors in the aircon and
admire the wonders of nature from there and preserve their complexion so
they can properly show off their new clothes from the spring collection.
The world is becoming over populated. What was once country will become
city. My Mother was born and raised in the country with barns and farm
animals. Seventy years later it is now a concrete jungle with thousands
of homes and paved streets. Farm animals no longer allowed.
I was also born there in the same city. When I turned forty I moved to
the country. I still had city habits when I first moved to the
boondocks, nice lawn and flowers around the house, just like those in
the city. I am changing; the lawn not so good - I no longer put down
herbicides, I now raise chickens, into beekeeping and have a large
vegetable garden. I was a city mouse now turning into a country mouse.
Like my mothers world changed, so is mine. The creeping civilization of
human over population is slowly arriving. This year a new big box
hardware store and a mega mart store like wallmart is just seven miles
down the road. I am also guilty of this transformation also, as I moved
to the country so did others.
I however, have no kids and will not contribute further to this messed
up over populated world. As for complaining about your landscape
changing will be on no use ... get use to it. It is they way the world
is! It is called "Progress".
Enjoy Life ... Dan
On Sat, 4 Apr 2009 18:46:01 -0500, "Dioclese" <NONE> wrote:
Most neighbor's hire lawn care service and I may see these neighbors
in their yard once a year. I think I am the only one who does not
have a riding mower. What they call "yard work," I call gardening. My
sister and her husband have 8 acres and both hate any kind of
gardening--makes me wonder why she bought so much unused land, but
that's her business.
Most likely for privacy... with 8 acres her neighbors can't readily hear her
having sex and she doesn't need to hear their toilets flush.... and land
doesn't need to be "gardened" to be a garden... some of the best "gardened"
parts of my land are those I leave entirely to Mother Nature, I don't try to
improve on perfection.
I use strictly a push mower inside the 450+ foot fence perimeter around the
house. Outside, I use a riding mower for mowing the above ground leech
field, around the detached garage and driveway, and the fire barrier around
the outside of fenceline. I also keep a path mowed to a set of good sized
live oaks with a big canopy towards the back of my property. Its total a
bit more than one acre for mowing.
Native trees and accompanying native grasses/brambles/brush border the
street shoulder. Garage is viewable from driveway street entrance, view of
house at severe angle from driveway entrance at best. Another street view
of the house is from the rural mailbox and adjacent path made by
construction workers when my house was built. Front yard has best privacy
as the house does not face the street. No rear door entry either.
Unless a person farms, raises some form of livestock, or needs a heck of a
lot of business space, most homeowners can't fully use 5/10/20 acres. That
seems to be a mindset (total use) that I don't understand. Can you
One asset, that guys don't talk about, but like about a big spread with lots
of trees is relieving oneself. You don't have to walk all the way back to
the house. A Golden asset.
If you don't like the weather in Central Texas, just give it a minute...
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