Patterns amongst borders between suburban yards

An artist noticed that her neighbors in an older Sacramento suburb follow some patterns in the borders between their yards:

“There are definite patterns of cohesiveness,” says Neidigh of her series Property Line. She says it’s possible to observe “the layering of planting trends over 50, 60 years, or even older.”A Midwest transplant who’s settled in California’s capitol city, Neidigh set out to document the “groomed landscapes” of the city, drilling down past the Pleasantville-type conformity to reveal the unique personailties expressed in seemingly cookie-cutter borders. Her earlier series, With Great Care, focuses on the tightly groomed mulberry trees found in Sacramento neighborhoods. She’s intrigued by the tension of perennially pruning these plants that outgrow their accceptable bounds.

“It has that inherited design, where they’re maintaining this thing that’s been planted so long ago, and just keeping it in bounds,” Neidigh says.

Here is my favorite of the online pictures:

Land lines can be quite contested with different ideas about landscaping as well as determining the exact line. The picture above offers a great contrast: a driveway on the right with an extra parking space on the lot line with the yard on the left going for some minimalist landscaping amongst brick pavers. The right side offers function, the left side wants to have a little piece of nature. Why don’t the people on the left create a larger hedge if they want to have plants along the line?

It’s too bad we don’t get to see the neighbors interacting across these lot lines. Of course, that assumes they do have much interaction in their front yards or that they even interact much at all…

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