Alyson Pond Homeowner's Association

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Are you being judged by your lawn? What does your lawn say about you?

Normally I head out the door with my attention on getting to work as probably most of us do.  But this was a Saturday, and I decided to take it easy and ride around the neighbor. What I saw was disturbing.  There wasn’t just a yard here and there that was in apparent neglect, there were whole sections of the neighborhood.  When I returned home, I found a newspaper in the driveway– the North Raleigh News.  And this article caught my eye, and said just about everything that needs to be said. It’s by Jason Foster.  Here’s some exerpts.

As I roam the northern part of the city looking for a place for my family to live, I keep coming across middle-class neighborhoods that are, shall we say, lawn work challenged.

That’s not to say the overgrowth has reached jungle-like proportions, but it’s enough to make me wonder whether mowing the grass and lawn care in general have fallen out of fashion. And it’s not just one or two houses per neighborhood, It’s row after row of suspect lawns, and it gives me pause.

It’s frustrating to see a great house listing, then drive to the neighborhoods and be greeted with a first impression that says “You don’t want to live here”.

Full disclosure: I dread mowing the lawn as much as anyone.  It might actually be the thing in life I enjoy the least.

But there comes a point when the uncut grass, weeds growing in all directions, the kids toys strewn about send the message that the owners just don’t care anymore. Maybe some really don’t care. But if that’s the case, I have no desire to live in your neighborhood. 

To be fair, there are well manicured lawns in each neighborhood I’ve visited.  It’s obvious these people want their yards to have a pleasant appearance/  I applaud them.  But for you folks who are strangers to the mower, what’s the deal?

It’s frustrating to see a great house listing, then drive to the neighborhoods and be greeted with a first impression that says “You don’t want to live here”.

Is it apathy? Are you on vacation all summer? Are you just too busy? Is it just not that big a deal to your homeowners’ association?

Here’s my thinking and Id guess the thinking of others looking to buy. If someone doesn’t care about the appearance of his yard, them he probably isn’t giving his house the attention it deserves.  That attitude spreads throughout the neighborhood and a ‘why bother?’ feeling gains a foothold.  Over time, that doesn’t bode well for property values and resale potential.

I’m not saying everybody needs elaborate landscaping, or should hire a lawn service or spend large amounts of money to make the yard look nice.  Just do your part to keep things presentable.  Appearances do matter.

(reprinted with permission from Jason Foster, Editor, North Raleigh News, an N&O publication, Sunday, August 8, 2010.)

[There are nearly a dozen letters going to homeowners this week concerning their lawns. -Paul]


  1. Justin says:

    Some homes are in bad shape, but let’s face it, it has been very hot and this crabgrass is a real pain. I think the tone of your letters is in bad taste as we are homeowners not school kids that need to be reprimanded.

    • Adam Gartenberg says:

      On behalf of the board, I do want to apologize for the tone of the letter. What was sent was the standard letter our management company had been using, and I agree that it is not the right tone. I had worked with them earlier this year to revise the letter, but by mistake they sent out the old version rather than the newer one.

      I hope everyone would agree that our goals for the community are the same – to have Alyson Pond be a beautiful, welcoming place for current and prospective residents. We do realize that there may be cases where there are extenuating circumstances, but there are also some residents that from time to time do need a reminder that their lawn or house may need more attention than they’ve been getting. Our goal, especially in a first notice (where we usually don’t know the which of the above conditions might apply), is to make sure things are brought to the homeowner’s attention and give them a chance to address the situation or respond to us should they feel like they need to explain the situation further.

  2. Carl Meinhardt says:

    Thanks to Paul for having the nerve to send the letter. So you have crabgrass? Why can’t you cut it? Why do we have to have an eucalyptus tree blocking one lane of Iman Dr.? Why do you have to wait unitl your crabgrass is over a foot tall to cut it? I have complained to Charleston Management and nothing has happended.

    If you think your neighbors yard won’t affect your wallet should you try to sell your house, guess again. If you want to live in a trailer park – move to one.

  3. Joanne says:

    It has been a hot summer and being told what to do by Paul is very obnoxious. Everyone has weeds and struggling to get rid of them, so give us a break until we can treat the problem.


    • Paul Martin says:

      Hi Joanne,

      It’s true that everyone has weeds. Now is the time to deal with them. The crabgrass is bolting, which means it is getting ready to go to seed. If you think you have a problem now, it will be much bigger next year, for you and your neighbors.

      The least costly way to deal with it is to pull it out by hand. If that is not possible, apply Round-up or an equivalent product. Mow it down before seed heads have a chance to form. Once it’s dead, remove it and seed the bare spots with fescue.

      Letters have not, and will not, go out to residents who are doing something about their lawns. Letters will go out to the people who don’t.

  4. Bruce says:

    I am a great one for promoting my business, but I see Paul Martin still has his sign on his lawn promoting Evergreen Landscaping. It has been there for six weeks is it not time to take it down as we get the message “You Have Green Grass”.

    I had some work done last year and once the work was over 3 days later I received a letter to take down the contractors sign, so Paul set an example please and remove your ‘self promoting’ sign?

    • Paul Martin says:

      Apparently the promotion was not as successful as I would have hoped. My company is Leisure Landscapes. And the sign said “Lawn Renovation in Progress”

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