I posed this question to the crew at work, and these were some of the responses:
1. The house should look tidy.
2. The yard should look clean.
2. Prospective buyers may not want a lot of yard maintenance.
But I think this goes deeper into our psyche as a culture, this "tidy" obsession we seem to have to sweep/pluck/prune. Control over nature — well, duh, yeah. The ol' slash'n'burn approach, show Nature who's in charge.
But it also seems tied to the almighty dollar, that to get the most $$$ from a property, it must appear to be "clean", that nature is, in some way, unclean. Of course, we love "nature" in a forest, but god help us if we allow nature to encroach upon our front yards.
Anyway, here's my formula:
Trimmed = clean.
Lush = dirty.
(And also, lush = fecundity = bad = sex.)
Does any realtor worth her commission want to show a house that, on a subliminal level, is all about sex?
Is it really this simple?
But doesn't sex sell nearly everything in this culture? Cars? Clothing? Dessert?!
Before the first of these houses went up for sale last fall, a guy with a mower laid waste to the beautiful vinca in the yard next door, which, besides being very healthy and abundant, provided some privacy to the view of my back door. Obsessively tidy yard! Clean!
And now, this spring, the new homeowner has fallen in love with all the vinca that's making a vigorous (glorious!) comeback. Go figure.
I know, it's not all this simple. But to witness this razing of the landscape so acutely, it certainly gives one pause.
|Stump and Steps|
Fungus = a healthy ecosystem.)