[gardeners] The Neighbor

Catharine Vinson (gardeners@globalgarden.com)
Wed, 10 Jun 1998 16:38:36 +0000

Some of you may remember my "flamingo war" with my one unpleasant neighbor 
(not the one that died in the kitchen; the one that told me if I wanted to 
be a farmer I should move out of town and quit offending his sensibilities 
by having the temerity to grow tomatoes [in chic yuppie bamboo teepees, no 

Well, yesterday the Tomato-Trashing Neighbor reached the pinnacle of 
suburban achievement in Atlanta, Georgia. He won the highly coveted (by 
some) Yard of the Month award.

The ever so tasteful sign appeared on his clipped-to-within-a- 
millimeter-of-its-life Zoysia lawn yesterday morning. My Nice Neighbor 
across the street called me in a dither...a snit...a sputtering Southron 

"Catharine! Go look out your window at Meader's front lawn!!! You just 
won't believe it. I'm seeing it but I still  don't believe it. I can't 
believe it. I am going to call the Design Committee and tell them I am 
ashamed to live in this neighborhood if *that*'s held up as an example." 

(15 second pause while I am still fumbling to get the phone placed on my 
shoulder....it is 6:00 a.m., you see, and I wasn't out of bed yet.)  
Finally, I find a voice. "Er, Gloria? Is that you? What are you talking 
about? Do you know what time it is? Did somebody Gnome Meaders?"

"Get out of bed, Catharine. Meaders won Yard of the Month!! And he hasn't 
even edged along the curb in the last two years. I know it's been two 
years. I keep track of these things. Somebody has to."

After asking Gloria to hang on, I roll out of bed, peek out the window and 
sure enough, there it is: Yard of the Month. It must have been bestowed in 
the night. Like night soil.

Since this neighbor has not planted a tree, a bush, a shrub, a perennial, 
an annual, a biennial...not even a six pack of impatiens in the 5 years I 
have lived next door I told Gloria that I can only surmise that The Lawn 
does indeed reign supreme in Atlanta. Followed by The Annual Pansy 
Display, of course.

Gloria promises all out war. She said she was going to protest to the 
Design Committee (that such a committee actually exists and runs around 
granting such awards is, intself, mind boggling). She said she would bring 
me an update tonight. I'm on pins and needles waiting the news....

Catharine, who has a fundamental mistrust of lawns and suburbia