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Old 05-13-2014, 12:07 PM
 
Location: ☀️ SWFL ⛱ 🌴
2,435 posts, read 1,669,408 times
Reputation: 8696

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I'm so sorry to hear that, as someone who also loves plants and gardens, I know what it means to you. My neighbor is struggling to accept she won't be able to continue on with her gardening/yard work that is so much enjoyment to her. Chemo has left her with neuropathy in her hands that looks to be permanent. It did not stop her from putting in new flowers though, before I left in April. New growth holds so many promises.

I appreciate a good lawn of grass, I know the work and effort that goes in to them, but they aren't for me. My Dad at almost 90 still has a perfect lawn. I grew up with a Scott's picture postcard yard. I also held an apple bushel basket at the ready to run when the mower stopped and Dad was ready to empty the clippings. And oh boy, I had sure better be paying attention!

Gardening in two places is my idea of perfection; I love to be outside and part of nature, but I've learned when to call it a day or a lost cause with my outside projects. I hope that will continue.

Last edited by jean_ji; 05-13-2014 at 12:21 PM..
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Old 05-13-2014, 12:55 PM
 
Location: too far from the sea
19,842 posts, read 18,861,423 times
Reputation: 33748
Quote:
Originally Posted by GrandviewGloria View Post
It makes me glad that my present (ditto for the previous two) home has tall, locked gates, and tall privacy screening. The idea of militaristic little idiots measuring my grass is not pleasant.

As for people subject to HOAs, I would suggest that you vote AGAINST anyone with a "leadership" background which includes military, police, or "education". Horticulturists, Scientists, Architects, Decorators, Artists... these are the people who should be making decisions in a nice neighborhood - not authoritarian imbeciles. For the bleak, Lower-Middle-Class kinds of neighborhoods you see Supernanny being sent out to,
SUPERNANNY THE POTTER FAMILY - YouTube , I'm sure that a former Football Coach/Highschool Principal would be just dandy on the HOA Board.

But this whole 'Grass-height Issue' brings to mind, for me, a certain quote:
"A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds." (Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1841)
What a good thought. I like that. A horticulturalist would be the most qualified to decide what kind of lawns people could have. (not that anyone should be deciding for anyone else, but if you have to live in an HOA someone does). What you plant should usually be specific to the climatic conditions and if you're living in some dry place like Arizona, it doesn't sound like you should be trying to plant grass.

If you live in some place like Florida where the grass grows fast and it grows year round, maybe there is something else more sensible than grass that needs all the frequent mowing.

I'm from a place that has green lawns but we have a pretty good climate for that. One really nice solution at one house I had was professional landscaping in the front yard. There were huge boulders that were impossible to mow around so the professionals put in azaleas, juniper, cotoneaster--and wood chips. It worked, looked beautiful, and there was a minimum of mowing. Sort of like what they have around the nicer MacDonald's these days--you don't see them out mowing very much.

I've seen lots of houses that have difficult to maintain lawns, such as a sloping front yard and they have gone the junipers and woodchips route. It looks okay and there is no maintenance. In Arizona don't people use pebbles or something? Whatever works and fits in with the climate. In California I saw asphalt and cement instead of lawns. That looked ugly to me but they don't get the rain that we get. You have to make allowances for climate.
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Old 05-13-2014, 03:07 PM
 
Location: Texas
1,324 posts, read 1,108,422 times
Reputation: 1837
I agree with you.

Here is a related story-I agree that if not only you but your kids are doing well you don't need special treatment in fact I think it's abusive to the the system if you do it.

In fact someone suggested I get Meals on Wheels for my parents. This someone got it for their parents. Now this family the elderly couple had 4 children, all are Professionals, one a Doctor. I was sort if in shock when they suggested it because my parents are probably less well off than theirs but they felt ok getting Meals on Wheels for them. I do not feel my parents are in that boat. I can cook for them sometimes, make extra food every week or two. Make an extra banana bread, etc.

I wonder if the kids of that other family were not all right in their heads with helping their own. If you are a Doctor you can't make sure your parent has enough to eat?

My father can still use a microwave. My mother is no longer capable of anything but she can eat the TV dinner he makes or food I bring.

Now that my father has had extra setbacks(my brother died) I did want to look into a lawn mowing service for him since he has balance issues, but I would go by their financial need guidelines.

He did and we did not automatically assume anything based on just age. I think we have always been very independent people. If we need help-we will ask but if we don't-we will not.
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Old 05-13-2014, 03:52 PM
 
48,516 posts, read 83,943,432 times
Reputation: 18050
So do you think its abusive if able bodied young people get same help? Likely the doctor and his wife financed many for many years; just a thought.money does not always equal entire circumstance either if you ever work with meals on wheels;its more than meals.
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Old 05-14-2014, 05:57 AM
 
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach FL
14,628 posts, read 17,932,507 times
Reputation: 6716
Quote:
Originally Posted by TuborgP View Post
Some HOA covenants do not allow changing anything over a fixed percentage of the original lawn to anything else. Again as noted climate can play a role in how the rules are written.
HOA rules can be all over the place. We have no rules mandating any particular % of lawn. Makes sense because of the very diverse nature of our lots. Some - for example - are simply small islands of land surrounded on all sides by marsh. It's pretty hard to landscape a marsh . We do have a rule that requires approval of any landscaping that changes more than 25% of the existing landscaping. There are also of course both HOA and county rules regarding removal of larger trees.

And jean_ji - I know the kind of garden you're describing. And - unless you have the $$$ to hire your own personal full time gardener - it gets hopeless at a certain point. So what you have to do is face the realities of the situation - and do something. Like going back to the basics of lawn - some shrubs - and some trees. At a minimum - it's very easy to get a service to take care of these things. If I have to abandon my "personal" garden (a small % of our lot) - for whatever reason - that's what's going to happen to it. Robyn
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Old 05-14-2014, 06:19 AM
 
Location: Columbia SC
8,974 posts, read 7,745,489 times
Reputation: 12182
In our standalone, patio homes HOA all exterior landscaping and maintenance is provided by the HOA. One is not allowed to plant nor modify anything in their front nor side yards. That said, each home has a backyard (15 by 30, varies some) surrounded by a 6ft privacy fence. One can pretty well do as they wish within this area as long as it does not exceed the height of the fence. The HOA does not maintain the area. Many garden, grow veggies, etc. Others have installed pavers so nothing grows and they put out purchased potted plants. Me I am a paver, potted plant type person. I do not do dirt......LOL
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Old 05-14-2014, 07:11 AM
 
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach FL
14,628 posts, read 17,932,507 times
Reputation: 6716
Quote:
Originally Posted by in_newengland View Post
What a good thought. I like that. A horticulturalist would be the most qualified to decide what kind of lawns people could have. (not that anyone should be deciding for anyone else, but if you have to live in an HOA someone does). What you plant should usually be specific to the climatic conditions and if you're living in some dry place like Arizona, it doesn't sound like you should be trying to plant grass.

If you live in some place like Florida where the grass grows fast and it grows year round, maybe there is something else more sensible than grass that needs all the frequent mowing.

I'm from a place that has green lawns but we have a pretty good climate for that. One really nice solution at one house I had was professional landscaping in the front yard. There were huge boulders that were impossible to mow around so the professionals put in azaleas, juniper, cotoneaster--and wood chips. It worked, looked beautiful, and there was a minimum of mowing. Sort of like what they have around the nicer MacDonald's these days--you don't see them out mowing very much.

I've seen lots of houses that have difficult to maintain lawns, such as a sloping front yard and they have gone the junipers and woodchips route. It looks okay and there is no maintenance. In Arizona don't people use pebbles or something? Whatever works and fits in with the climate. In California I saw asphalt and cement instead of lawns. That looked ugly to me but they don't get the rain that we get. You have to make allowances for climate.
In Florida - even the legislature gets involved with landscaping . Here's the "Florida friendly landscaping" statute:

Statutes & Constitution :View Statutes : Online Sunshine

Then local governments - university ag extensions - water management districts - various horticultural groups - homeowners and condo associations - etc. also get involved. And you wind up with certain general principles - like these:

Florida-Friendly Landscaping

As well as a million lists of recommended and not recommended (as well as prohibited) things to plant. Including various lawn "flavors" (which vary over the years as new types/varieties of turf grass are developed). In defense of HOAs and the like when it comes to turf grass requirements. All of our recommended residential turf grass here is perennial (installed/replaced when necessary by sodding - not seeding) - and creeping/invasive. So - if you have Augustine grass - and your neighbor has zoysia - you're eventually going to have a mixed-up mess. Unless lots are very large and somewhat separate from one another - one kind of allowed turf grass works best.

One thing that is discouraged is too much hardscape. Everything from concrete to big/lots of rocks to rubber mulch. Things that prevent water from going back into the ground. Other things - like woodchips - are discouraged too. Especially around foundations. Because they can result in termite problems. Although lawns don't get much respect in this and similar conversations - they are great in terms of sucking up water during our often heavy rainfalls and preventing run-offs.

Overall - the idea in Florida is to reduce water consumption (half of our residential water is used for irrigation). While making sure that a large % goes back into the ground with as few pollutants (including fertilizers) as possible. It's as simple as that. No reason to have lots of super hard to maintain plantings that require the full time services of a master gardener. The basics are ok. And Joe's Lawn Service will maintain your yard for you at a reasonable price. Whether it's because you're young and too busy to do the work. Or because you're older and can't do the work yourself anymore. Or because you suffer from allergies and working outside in the spring is intolerable. Or because you're just lazy . And - if you can't afford to hire Joe - you have to rethink your housing situation and budget - and perhaps move to a place that's a better fit for you.

FWIW - it's "roof season" in my neighborhood now (most houses on my block are about 20 years old). A new roof on an average house on my block costs about $25k. And you really don't have much choice about getting a new roof - because your insurance company will require you to get one at a certain point. Also - with a 20 year house - it's about time to get a second HVAC system (normal life = about 10 years). Which will run about $10k for a total replacement (necessary now because of the phaseout of freon based systems). So landscape maintenance is pretty much peanuts in the scheme of things when it comes to owning a house. And everyone - not only older people - has to take all these costs into account when thinking of buying a place - or staying put versus moving. Robyn
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Old 05-14-2014, 07:26 AM
 
29,782 posts, read 34,876,173 times
Reputation: 11705
Robyn, has hit the proverbial pin on the head. Home ownership maintenance is expensive and many homeowners are unprepared. Thus debt and even less for the next major expense. Will Boomers be prepared not just to enter retirement but to stay financially secure during it? Where is MathJak to chime in about out living your money. Is now the time to ask those who want to die broke what their roof, yard and HVAC will be like? For. Better or worse one of the transplanting realities and buying new is a new house, roof, yard and HVAC. On the other hand if moving from a nice home and neighborhood you may have needed to upgrade the old place in order to sell it.
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Old 05-14-2014, 08:21 AM
 
3,438 posts, read 4,733,569 times
Reputation: 5402
25,000 for a new roof ?

OUCH !

Things must be very expensive in Florida as my daughter and son-in-law had a new roof put on their beautiful house in a St Paul Minnesota suburb for less than half that amount ( $12,000)

The construction workers I know from MN who went to work in Florida over the winter said they took a huge pay cut in Florida.

So, why in the world............with lower wages.....would a roof be that expensive in Florida ?
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Old 05-14-2014, 08:26 AM
 
29,782 posts, read 34,876,173 times
Reputation: 11705
Quote:
Originally Posted by Teddy52 View Post
25,000 for a new roof ?

OUCH !

Things must be very expensive in Florida as my daughter and son-in-law had a new roof put on their beautiful house in a St Paul Minnesota suburb for less than half that amount ( $12,000)

The construction workers I know from MN who went to work in Florida over the winter said they took a huge pay cut in Florida.

So, why in the world............with lower wages.....would a roof be that expensive in Florida ?
Footprint of the house. The same sq footage in a one story has a larger footprint than multiple story and that means more roof. Robin has a one story if I remember right . Also the style of roofing material
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