As homeowners continue to eschew manicured front lawns and replace water-hungry expanses of turf with more sustainable/less high-maintenance forms of landscaping — edible gardens, mulch, trees, native grasses and shrubs, drought-tolerant plantings, and on — it’s worth noting that not everyone is bidding adieu to grass for conservation-related reasons.

Meet Georgianna Reid, a Kanas City, Mo. homeowner of a certain age who recently got rid of her front lawn because, well, she’s totally over it.

“Now being over 60, I’ve decided that I’ve owned the house for 33 years and that I wasn’t going to mow or water,” explains Reid.

Makes sense I suppose — and good for Reid for bucking the stereotype that homeowners become even more obsessed with maintaining a perfect yard once they enter their golden years or are faced with retirement.

While Reid, now completely unburdened by that damned grass at long last, is enjoying a turf-free existence, many of her neighbors in Kansas City's Brookside nabe are experiencing entirely new levels of distress. You see, instead of opting for shrubs, mulch, or even gravel to replace her lawn, Reid paid $4,000 to have 80 tons of sand dumped in front of and around her home, creating what she refers to as “the largest litter box in the world.”

Calling Reid’s positively beach-y front yard as “revolting” and concerned that it could damage area property values, a handful of appalled neighbors have reportedly filed official complaints with the city. Others are more accepting of the unorthodox set-up. KCTV notes that city inspectors have not taken action against Reid as the sand is being used for landscaping purposes and, in turn, isn’t violating any codes. And without the city stepping in to draw a line in the you-know-that, it would appear that someone displeased with Reid’s sandy expanse of yard has taken to theft, pilfering a volleyball net, oversized chess set, and various lawn ornaments placed by Reid in her tropical Midwestern oasis. A stack of Mary Higgins Clark paperbacks were left left unmolested.

Following the theft, Reid placed a “rather confrontational yard sign” in the sand offering $2,000 for tips regarding the whereabouts of her front yard beach gear. Put yourself in the shoes of Reid's neighbors for a moment. Would you read Reid the riot act? Or would you pop a Corona and head on over?

Via [KCTV], [Daily Mail]

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Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.

Kansas City homeowner tears out grass, dumps 80 tons of sand in front yard
Put off by the the work involved with maintaining a grassy front yard, Georgianna Reid explores inventive news ways of irking the neighbors.