The Battle Continues

I forget if I shared that, in the middle of a not-unusual late April blizzard, I got a missive from my HOA, threatening to fine me if I didn’t do something with the xeriscaped portion of my lawn. We’ll set aside for a moment that I actually already had planted decorative grass in the area (it mostly died— see “blizzard,” above, and that wasn’t the last blizzard or hard freeze of the season.) And hand-aerated, and weeded, seeded and fertilized, and mowed a couple of times, and cleared out the bed. My lawn, while not the most spectacular on the block, was far from the worst.

I let them know that as I received the notice during a blizzard and hours before business travel, I was going to need an extension on their 10-day turnaround. They gave me the extension. Sometime afterward, I got more plants, and they feel strongly about approved mulch so I bought mulch, even though it’s under a pine tree, which is a self-mulching system. I also edged the bed in river rock, because I figured that was coming next.

They left me alone until early July, when they said how nice the plants looked, and didn’t I want to add some more mulch and some edging? I said that I’d already edged the bed in stone and if they felt very strongly about it, I was happy to add another couple of bags of mulch.Which I did.

They responded to my last message this week, again saying how nice it looked, but they felt like another couple of bags of mulch and some edging to keep the mulch from washing away. I explained that I’ve already added two more bags of mulch, and that the mulch isn’t washing away because of the rocks. They said they really need me to add some edging.

I walk this neighborhood every day with the dog. There are some truly stunning yards, but there are some awful messes. Very few people have the kind of edging they’re mentioning. Lots of yards are less aggressively tended than my own.

I’m glad my neighborhood looks nice, but at this point, I feel like this is a racket. I feel like someone is getting a kickback from the mulch people (five bags of mulch onto a naturally self-mulching system, and I won’t use the nasty dyed stuff or the rubberized mulch because I’m concerned about runoff, so I’ll be buying at least that, annually.) I also feel like someone has too much time on their hands. Go after the people who are neglecting their lawns, not paying their HOA dues, and committing actual violations, people! Your deep desire to give me unsolicited feedback is not why you’re there!

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