Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Local News

November 30, 2013

SHADES OF GREEN: Lawn beauty is more than just lush, green grass

John Doe thought he was doing the right thing. He was sent to my house to “clean it up” since maybe it looked a little unkempt to some. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

In my opinion my house was beautiful and natural. To John it needed to be cleaned up.

One day I called my wife and said, “Did you mow the lawn?” She laughed knowing that question was an oxymoron, and replied with a giggle, “No.”

The next day I called her again and asked, “Did you trim the trees?” I had just planted three redbud, a black oak, a ninebark shrub and several service berries and they were cut along with numerous Norway Maples. She more tentatively giggled and said, “No, what’s going on?”

We hypothesized John was with the City since it says in ordinance 4066 — an ordinance regulating rank vegetation and noxious weeds — “WHEREAS, each real estate owner in the City of Goshen has the responsibility to maintain his or her real estate in a manner which does not detract from the appearance of the neighborhood and the value of real estate in the vicinity.”

Ten years ago we had the zoning police knocking at our door stating that we would have to mow our yard or they would. My wife, with my brainwashing, quoted Ella Wheeler Wilcox when she told the city employee that “A weed is but an unloved flower.” He wasn’t very happy with that comment.

Recently, our friend Jennifer was visiting and Cappy, our dog, was barking out of control. She stepped out on the front porch and met the aforementioned John Doe. “What are you doing,” she asked. John had hedge trimmers in his hand and replied, “Making your place nicer. Do you like what I’m doing?”

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Goshen City Council member Dixie Robinson is asking residents to make an effort to clean up their yards this spring. The city’s Dial-A-Truck program is available to haul trash away. Do you think there are more unsightly properties in Goshen this year than five years ago?

Yes, I have noticed more problem properties
No, I have not noticed more problems
I think the problems are about the same as always
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