Landscape Trespass - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 1918150

Landscape Trespass

Two articles published in March call attention to a landscaping standard that may have led to an impasse.

In a charming narrative about her property in Southampton, Hilary Woodward describes her happy decision to let the land remain in its natural state, as opposed to creating a manicured lawn [“Finding Home Within A Beautiful Mess,” Viewpoint, Residence, March 17].

As Ms. Woodward implies, she’s a bit of a nonconformist, because the manicured lawn seems to have become the de facto standard in Southampton. (It might be worth noting that award-winning author and conservationist Peter Matthiessen of Sagaponack also left most of his property in its natural state.)

It now seems as if tree after tree is being chain-sawed to create a lawn, after which a landscaper must be hired to maintain that lawn right up to the neighbor’s property line, often scattering debris onto the neighbor’s property and even going so far as to drift into the neighbor’s backyard.

I believe this clear-cutting has contributed to a backlash against landscaping equipment [“Town Board Adopts Gas Leaf Blower Ban In Southampton,”, March 23]. In truth, leaving a hedgerow between properties might reduce noise from landscaping equipment, reduce the amount of time required to manicure around trees and property borders, and ensure some measure of privacy.

Everyone is entitled to his or her own landscaping vision, but it might be appropriate for local citizens committees to recognize where landscaping has risen to a level of trespass.

Susan Cerwinski

East Quogue