Monday, August 8, 2011

Crazy Americans and yard obsessions

Even before you actually enter the country you can see it from the skies… You don’t even have to look that closely, it is just beautiful and it is everywhere here in Indiana!

And yes of course you guessed right away that I am talking about YARDS...! And no, not any yards I am talking about American Yards and Lawns!

me mowing the lawn

I have NEVER ever seen such huge lawns with sooo much grass! Yes, I was used to yards and lawns with some grass, but overall it would be scrubs and trees and flowers. I was in for a big treat because here you have just lots and lots of grass and a couple of trees and scrubs… Found out later that it sometimes (depending on the year) that flowers and such might get too cold in the winter and to hot in the summer, so to keep your yard looking nice people pick plants that can survive this great climate change between summer and winter. Another thing i learned is that we only have 2 seasons here, summer and winter, no messing around with spring and fall...

Now, we were not used to all this grass and in 2006 when we had our first spring here you can image our surprise when we saw grandpa’s, grandma’s, men, women and teens cruzing around on their lawnmower with a big heavy “barrel” behind it…

We check and found out that it was to flatten the ground, so when the grass would finally start to grow the smoother your ride would be! Amazing! We never flattened out yard to get a smooth ride! We were always pushing and pushing our lawnmowers and if we were lucky we would run over the electric cable… (Oh, sorry daddy…) and could quit early!


Bastiaan mowing our yard

But the most fantastic thing about these smooth well maintained lawns is the fact that sometimes there are “things” in the yard. And yes “things” vary from, houses that not have been painted in 50 plus years, buses, cars, farm equipment in all stages of life, tires, toys, lots and lots of toys, shoes, scrap metal, barns that have not been occupied in this century and oh did I tell you, cars…sometimes with flowers, sometimes with all kinds of gorgeous weeds...

We would see these beautiful yards/lawns, mowed all the way to the neighbors property line, yes besides the road too (both sides!) and think oh my gosh! And then you would really look in the yard and you can see 3 different layers of paint on the house all coming off, or a vehicle that people have been mowing around for over 15 years…. And we would just stop and stare.

I know this is not very polite of us, but we just could not help it.

Americans spend hundreds and thousands of dollars on good looking lawn mow machinery, and gallons of gas to run that fine piece of equipment but they did not save up some money to buy some paint for the house they live in, so the house can match their beautiful yard? Or remove the truck where the snakes and other varmints live in out of their yard, so their kids can play safely? I can also think of smoother lines you can drive with your green grass eating monster then making circles around that old piece of junk?


Jan willem and Roxi mowing the yard

But then again, maybe I am just a new Duchie and should look at this a different way….

It is absolutely gorgeous to see all these beautiful lawns, and when we were back in Holland last year I must admit I was kind of disappointed to see grass as tall as my hips besides the roads. I also talked to Bastiaan and almost got him to OK the fact that I wanted to store my old BMW in the yard and make a flower bed out of it….

Yeah! getting closer to be a real American…. To bad Bastiaan isn't ready for some lawn ornaments!?!


...

If you want to catch up on some Crazy Americans;
Crazy Americans and public Restrooms
Crazy Americans, now where is it that you left your keys?
Crazy Americans smoking like a chimney



48 comments:

It's me said...

Geweldig !! jij met je grasmaaiertje.......hahahahh!!,....liefs van mij....xxx...

Jill said...

Oh Leotien...you hit the nail on the head. I am a "crazy american" but I have no idea why some pile old junk up in their yards! I just love reading your perspective on life in America.

Sharon said...

We mow so we can see if any poisons snakes come near the house, they also don't like the short grass as much as the tall.

Lois Evensen said...

Ha! You are so funny! Yes, it is very different in Europe.

The trend I hate seeing here in the States, though, is that of planting rocks in your yard so you don't have to mow anything at all. Only really STRANGE Americans (daughter's ex-boyfriend's parents) would do such a thing.

;),
Lois

Nancy @ A Rural Journal said...

It's always enjoyable when the lawn tractor eats a pine cone and spits it out the side at 100 mph. :)

Larkrise garden girl said...

Hi leontien, Well I don't mow my lawn. In California we have to reduce water consumption so I plant flowers that don't use as much water. It can still be pretty! Have a nice week. You always make me smile.Cheri

Ellie said...

I love to see freshly mown grass it looks so neat and tidy. My garden here in Scotland looks like a postage stamp compated to American gardens. Lol

TexWisGirl said...

LOL! like the 'recycling' idea for the BMW! :)

Negerigeletschtempoit said...

Funny observation, Leontien. But, my dear, if we did not mow our grasses, front lawn and pasture, we would have to leave the house for the critters that would invade the whole area. At least here in our "neck of the woods".

I wonder why you guys do not let all those cows out to eat the pasture... or do you? I only saw Roxi on a leash (?!). They would eat the grass and leave good piles of fertilizer. The only thing you would have to do is let it dry and spread it!

Last but not least, you look adorable, little girl!
xxxx

thefarmerslife said...

We do like nice big yards around here. I've got a bit of a crabgrass issue developing this year. Will have to get something done about that! I enjoy mowing too. It's quite relaxing!

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

Yes, but you do need fencing for those cow mowers ;-)

Sandra said...

one of the reason we have more grass here is we have more land. the countries in Europe are very small, about the size of one of our states. so we have more space to spread out. of course we are getting more and more crowded now and not as much space. never heard of rolling the grass, we always just cut it. i vote to use the old car for a flower bed. go for it

Alica said...

Yes, we crazy Americans like our big yards! I think our Amish neighbors wonder why our yards are so big...they plant bigger gardens, and have less to mow with their hand push mowers.

Out on the prairie said...

I laugh at a neighbor out trimming around his yard all the time. I trim with a push mower a few times a year,but mostly ride on my tractor.

Clint said...

Jack that BMW up on some concrete blocks. If you wanna REALLY be thought of as affluent, Jack up TWO BMWs.

Gail Dixon (Louisiana Belle) said...

Haha, you do have a neat perspective. Too cute. Unfortunately for us, our lawn is about the size of a postage stamp!

Gerreke said...

Hahaha dit is echt grappig. Zo'n kleine grasmaaier voor zo'n groot stuk en zulk hoog gras!

Lieve groet uit Nederland!
Gerreke

Louise said...

I mow because, otherwise, the town will come and mow for me, and charge me a healthy price. You see, I think that this obsession with yards is silly. Fertilizer, weed killer and water, water, water. Grow weeds. They are just as green, and they stay green long after the grass has shriveled and gone dormant from the heat.

mountain mama said...

great post...i personally would love to have goats as lawnmowers and fertilizers :)

Ricki Jill Treleaven said...

LOL this post is cracking me up!!! *giggles* Only you would think to use a BMW as a flower bed!!! ;P I adore these posts when you comment on American culture. They truly make my day!

xoxoxo,
Ricki Jill

LindaG said...

Great post, Leontien. Hope you're all having a wonderful day! :)

Kim said...

I never have given that a second thought! Funny how we get used to things a certain way and others find them so odd.

Farmchick said...

I do like your perspective on the American lawn. Different from yours, but interesting!

Staci at Life At Cobble Hill Farm said...

Loved this post!!

Dreaming said...

Americans obsession with green, smooth lawns is insane. I'm not sure where it came from! We have a lawn, but we try to put in plantings and natural items to make the lawn part smaller. We've known folks who spray to get rid of weeds. Spray to fertilize. Over seed to make the grass thicker. Mow...frequently. I don't want to do that. But... I have to admit. It can look lovely, of course, without the broken down car or the peeling paint ;-)
We've been letting the 'boys' trim part of our yard. They've been doing a pretty good job... and so far, they haven't left too much fertilizer!

Berts Blog said...

Ah hah....we are one of those families that has fake grass. (astroturf) It looks great all the time, winter or summer. Green and mowed and not affected at all by doggy doo doo and the other stuff.

So, does that make My Vickie a Crazy American or a SMART ONE>

By the way, she said to tell you.....Welcome back from Canada.

We still love the Bambi Drama post.....

Bert

don said...

You're right about the distorted priorities American home owners sometimes have (too many times). I like the beautiful lawns too….especially farms where the owner has gradually mowed a huge area including trees and a vast amount clear out to the road running by the place. Nice post. By the way, I'll added Four Leaf Clover Tales to my Google reader list so I'll be sure to find your fine site!

Debbie said...

hahaha....you have an interesting perspective.

you are a little girl with a little mower and a big lawn!!!

sawn48 said...

I try to keep my yard as neat as possible since I have always felt a messy yard was a reflection on the woman of the house. I have always done the yard work. Maybe that' why I feel that way. When I see a messy yard, I figure the inside of the house is probably the same way.I don't want others thinking that of me and my house,so I do the mowing.Pop is a sloppy mower.

Jeanie said...

I loved reading your perspective on American's obsession with lawns, and I can't wait to see pics of your BMW sprouting flowers. :)

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Hi There, YES---there are alot of crazy Americans..... We are a nutty bunch... Here in TN where I live, our yards are not that large. BUT--hubby and I have continued to add more and more flowers so that we won't have to mow so much!!!! ha.....

Our neighborhood is pretty nice ---but there are some nasty neighborhoods not too far from us... Sometimes I wonder how people can live in such trashy places.... Oh Well---Crazy Americans.
Hugs,
Betsy

bon bon said...

hahaha!! oh no, don't fall into the crazy lawn ornament trend! your yard looks too big anyway. you would need something the size of a bmw for it to stand out!

Garden of Egan said...

Oh that is such an astute observation of us Americans.
Ya'll oughta come out West. Then you'd see real redneck yards.
Nice big fancy trucks and ......well, let's just say there isn't lawn. Just old cars and tires and cinderblocks.

Love the pictures of you and Bastian mowing. I notice that you are pushing the mower and he is riding.
Is that fair?

Very cute my friend.

Jill said...

I will admit that I am a yard addict...but..I do not have any old machinery sitting around. We gave it to the neighbor...ha ha..Great post.

Lori Skoog said...

I am one American who does not like junk all over the place...gardens/yes...sculpture/yes...cows eating/yes!

Cheryl @ The Farmer's Daughter said...

Hi Leontein, cute post! Yes, we are crazy Americans sometimes. We have those who have to have the perfectly manicured lawns to the lazy ones who mow around old vehicles and other junk left in their yards. I don't see too much of the latter, I guess it depends on which part of the country you are in. Your blog is fun to read! Keep up the good work!

TheCrankyCrow said...

Hello Leotien...I'm a new follower - I found you after you stopped by my blog and left such a sweet comment regarding my mother's situation. Thank you so kindly - your thoughts and kind words mean so much.

And your observations are very spot-on. Having lived in Europe, you see things afresh when you "return home" as I did. Initially, I thought it was only my husband's obsession with golf that made him spend more hours tending our lawn than anything else. But it really is a culture-wide phenomenon....Fortunately, we don't have many "unintentional" lawn ornaments....although I do bring a share of rusty relics into my gardenscapes, because I love them so!!

So nice to "e-meet" you and look forward to getting to know you better!

Smiles & Hugs ~ Robin

Julie Harward said...

Hi there, thanks for your visit. You look like you are in pretty good shape, must be from pushing the lawn mower...how come he gets to ride?! LOL We do love our green lawns don't we and yes, they are a beautiful thing! ;D

Deb from WhatsInMyAttic said...

Funny post! When our daughter was young we lived in Florida and had a hard time growing grass in the back yard. We decided we'd have all the kids in our yard to play and run the grass off...better to raise a crop of kids than a crop of grass! Thanks for stopping by my blog and following!

Flora said...

Great Post.. I'm not a Crazy American...but Canadians do the same thing with their lawns!

Bob Bushell said...

Yep, you're right, crazy Americans. Lovely people though, well, most of them.

acorn hollow said...

First thank you for follow along! I agree americans spend way to much money on their lawns. we have a saying if it is green it is grass. we mow it as I do not want to wade through grass to get to the door but we do not roll it never heard of this. and a goat nibbling it would be just fine if I had one.
Cathy

Jensamom23 said...

What a fun perspective...had never really though of it that way. I used to have a much larger lawn and loved mowing it for some reason..don't know why, now that I think about it.

Jensamom23 said...

What a fun perspective...had never really though of it that way. I used to have a much larger lawn and loved mowing it for some reason..don't know why, now that I think about it.

Buttons said...

You are so funny. I have no idea why people obsess about there lawn here either. I love dandelions and I am OK with the wind blowing the grass a little. I did cut up a very expensive garden hose once so long grass has its downside. Thanks for the laugh. B

Pieces of Sunshine said...

Very interesting observations. In Australia we mostly have hand push (with motors) lawn mowers. I had never head of rolling your lawn, but then we mostly never have snow in our house yards either.

DeeAnna said...

When my friend immigrated here from Isreal she couldn't understand why there was a weatherperson on the news. She said, "what a wonderful luxury that you care whether or not it will rain, it either will or it won't." Good point! She said in Isreal one has to worry about being blown up on a city bus, but not if you should carry an umbrella!!

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