The Lost Art of Personal Landscaping

The Lost Art of Personal Landscaping

This past weekend I was visiting with my in laws and my father in law was cutting the grass, pretty normal right?

Actually pretty rare.

I walked around his upper middle class neighborhood with my son, my mom, my wife and her family to go to the park and saw no less than six professional landscapers cutting people’s yards.

That’s at least twice the number of regular homeowners were out working in their yards.

My father in law mentioned how some neighbors told him they’d rather pay someone to do the yard so they could have more free time.

My father in law thought then have your kid or a neighborhood kid do the yard.

I’m with my father in law on this one, I started cutting our yard in West Pullman on 123rd Street over 30 years ago.

Within the next decade I had a little yard service going, I cut the people next door, my grandmother, my mother’s best friend, I had as many 4-6 yards at my peak during my DePaul University days.

Man that was “pocket money”, “gas money”, “petty cash”, whatever you want to call it.

It made me responsible, kept me out of trouble, taught me to respect my elders, be smart with money and get a workout.

To this day I still do yards, I handle my mother’s landscaping and another relative has rental property and I cut that yard and trim trees and anything else that needs to be done.

I see no shame in that.

I live in a homeowners associated (HOA), development where our landscaping is done for us and is covered in our dues.

Yes I asked if I can do my own yard for a discount in the dues.

I was denied.

I have nothing against professional landscaping, the crews that works at my home and office complex are incredible. I don’t work at that level. They make our buildings look immaculate and I know how hard that can be.

But I’m like my father in law, I’m surprised at the amount of “regular Joe” homeowners that go pro. I mean some people do it because they can’t.

Before my mother moved out near me and still had the 123rd street property she had a landscaper because I couldn’t get over there to do that on a regular basis.

Maybe I’m weird but I like doing yard work, my late father got me into it when I was ten years old and with a few years off, I’ve been cutting yards since 1986.

I don’t mind it, I have my headphones, my gloves, my sports drinks and all my tools (pictured), and its being outside (which I can’t get enough of), and you just take care to see what you are doing and just “Git R Done”.

Where I’m from on 123rd Street that was your Saturday morning (and into the afternoon), ritual, it was normal because everyone was out there cutting, edging, weeding and trimming.

My mother mentioned to me the other day how she doesn’t see people out in her blue collar suburban area.

She remembers the days when I’d be cutting grass, my dad is in the garage working on a car and she’s either in the garden or sitting and reading a book.

We were always outside doing something.

But it seems times have changed, priorities are different and yeah I’m busy too but still make time to fire up that mower put on some good music and my gloves and get some fresh air and maintain the yard.
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