This question has been asked more and more these last few weeks as the first 15 feet or so of road frontage have continued to grow, uncut since last fall. As the grass reaches up to a couple of feet in height, we thought we’d offer you the story, a bit of an explanation of sorts.
Last fall we enlisted the help of Whitham Planning & Design in developing a master plan for Grayhaven. We needed a plan that would help us develop the landscape into a fun, family friendly space where we could host events, entertain guests, and that highlighted the beauty of our unique natural location in the Inlet Valley.
The plan they created is beyond awesome! They incorporated all of the things we were hoping for and intuitively saw things about the property that we never would have imagined, but are so happy they did. In addition to the thoughtful and beautiful design, the Whitham folks created something that we could achieve in stages, over a period of a time. Being a small, mom and pop shop, we are doing a lot of the work in stages, and a lot of the work ourselves.
Where to start?
Excited to get the ball rolling, one of the first questions we asked ourselves is “what will this all look like?”. Something simple, that we could easily do ourselves, was to continue mowing the areas that would remain lawn, and allow the areas that would be future berm, wall, hedgerow, plantings, mulch, trees, and garden – to grow. Enabling us to interact with the physical space the way it is envisioned, rather than in the abstract (as on the paper plan), intricately mowing the Whitham Design patterns became our new obsession, and the lawn our new medium.
As the lawn began to grow longer in these areas we continued to ask ourselves, “should we mow?”, “let it grow?”, “what to do?”. A few weeks back, a friend texted us after driving by, “lawn mower broken?”, “Ha! No… Avant-gardening!” we replied. They shot back with an article on NOT mowing the lawn. And soon we discovered that he, along with many others, were actually really into it! “You know”, another friend casually states, “Cornell doesn’t mow in front of the Johnson Museum“…
Soon guests are commenting on it. “We stopped mowing our front lawn too.”, says one guest, “The neighbors don’t like it, but we thought what’s the point of using all that time and gas to mow. Now we have good pollenating insects, birds, beautiful wild flowers and a whole new ecosystem to enjoy. We love it.” A few days later another guest comments on how they desperately want to let their side yard grow, “but what would the neighbors think?”.
Sure, some don’t like it. That’s fine. And for those solely interested in a singular type of road appeal, well they are welcome to keep mowing. For us, letting the grass and wild flowers grow helps to drown out some of the visuals of the highway and traffic. It also helps us turn away from the road and turn toward our beautiful back yard of 11 acres, where we continue to work on our awesome landscape plan and find a peaceful place to enjoy nature, watch the birds, have a barbecue, play bocce or molkky, have a fire, watch an outdoor movie, relax in a hammock and most of all, have fun.
If you have any questions about our developing landscape, feel free to stop by anytime during office hours to walk around the property and check out a large print out of our master plan. Or just shoot us a message 😉