It’s 6 o’clock on a Wednesday night and you’ve been putting off cutting the grass for two weeks.
While most of us see pulling out the lawn mower and pushing it around for an hour a chore, there are a select few suburbanites who have a different opinion. These proactive, and oddly creative people see their over-grown lawn as a canvas of sorts, one they can mow a picture on to.
This new and exciting form of mowing has some people mowing crop circles on their lawns, and others re-creating the plaid-like stripes of major league baseball fields. While the more out going, are mowing figures of their favorite celebrity for their next party. What ever their reason for stepping outside the box, it sure looks good from above.
Before the invention of the mechanical lawn mower, by Edwin Bear Budding in 1830, having a well-kept lawn was only possible for the extremely wealthy who could afford not to use the land for more profitable purposes, such as agriculture. Today, nearly everyone who chooses to settle down outside of the city has their own lawn to maintain. But the sense of status associated with having a lush and kept lawn has stayed with us, and it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon.
As mentioned above there are three different routes to take on the path of artistry mowing. The first, crop circles, reminiscent of the movie, Signs, can be easily achieved with a sturdy tree, some rope and a karabiner. Want to know the best part? You can sit back and drink a cold one while your new contraption does all of the work for you. Here’s how:
- Find a tree near the centre of your preferred mowing area, or create a sturdy pole out of PVC pipe yourself and secure in the middle of the yard.
- Using pre-measured rope, tie a knot around the tree/pole and fasten the karabiner to the other end of the rope.
- Stretch the rope out as far as it will go, and fasten the karabiner to the lawn mower.
- By using an elastic band to keep the motor going, set the mower on its path to mow circles around the tree/pole in the center.
This next method requires a little more handy work, but it will definitely have your neighbours asking exactly how you did it. Striping, like the seemingly perfect grid on the fields in major league baseball – or at least the good ones — is not as hard as it looks. Here’s how.
For simple stripes:
- Mow the perimeter of your lawn. This area is where you will be making your turns. Sidewalks or driveways are ideal for making turns.
- Pick a direction (North/South/East/West) and mow in it. Turn around and mow in the opposite direction, repeating this action until you’ve covered the lawn.
- Go over the perimeter to clean up any irregularities.
For a checkerboard:
- Mow the perimeter.
- Make your rows by mowing in opposing directions.
- Mow in the opposite direction of your existing rows. If you went North/South first, go West/East, or vice versa.
- Go over the perimeter again.
Some people think this method requires cutting with levelled cutting blades, but the dark and light effect is actually achieved by the reflection of light off of the bent grass. When the grass is bent away from you it appears to be a lighter shade of green, and when the grass is bent towards you it looks darker.
If you’re not interested in buying a professional lawn striper here’s how to make your own using a few materials lying around the garage.
Our final form of lawn art is the most time-consuming, but it has the best final product, one that your guests will be awing over. By letting your grass grow for about 10 days you should be left with a thick canvas to play with. From here you can let your imagination take flight. Some prefer to stencil out their design while others go completely free hand. We suspect that this to be a weekend project, so choose a weekend where you’re in need of some serious stress relief. You’ll need:
- An edging trimmer
- Long-handle shears
- Cordless hedge-trimmer
- Leaf blower
Whatever lawn project you choose to tackle next Wednesday night at 6 o’clock, remember to have a little fun and be creative. Mowing the lawn doesn’t have to be a chore.