News & Events - Barrhaven lawn goes from worst to first Ottawa

Barrhaven lawn goes from worst to first

It’s an eyesore, to be sure, but like many stories in the city, there’s more than meets the eye.

Violet Gutterberg’s front lawn is the stuff of nightmares for neighbours who keep their property well groomed. And it’s not like she and her neighbours live in a gated community where one could putt a straight line from curb to front door.

They live in Barrhaven. Not a bad place to live, but Providence Pl. isn’t dotted with Jags.

Still, Drew Halliday knew he had the chance of a lifetime when local landscaping company InstantLawns created a competition to find Ottawa’s worst lawn.

“I’ve been here seven years and this has been going on longer than I’ve been here,” he said. “Year after year, it just got more out of control.”

Weeds, flowers and assorted greenery nearly hide the house now. People have come out to inspect it, but for one reason or another it was never cut down.

Halliday said Gutterberg is a very sweet woman who’s down on her luck. There have been some difficult times and she kept very much to herself.

So he went ahead and nominated her lawn. It wasn’t, he stressed, a bid to embarrass her about her property. He had simply had enough of it and hoped that a makeover would end his pain.

The first-place prize is worth about $10,000 and includes an entire front lawn re-sod, two garden bed installations, a front lawn in-ground sprinkler system and a year-long lawn maintenance package, including, three fertilizer treatments in the fall, one fall aeration and one fall grub treatment.

Beyond that, Halliday will offer the services of his small construction company to add to InstantLawns’ makeover.

Gutterberg, who is said to be thrilled, but media shy, Halliday and his wife Jan have bonded since she discovered she won a contest she didn’t know she was entered in.

“We hadn’t spoken to her in years and years, but because of this we’ve gotten to know each other. She’s a really nice lady,” Halliday said.

InstantLawns partner Jana Mitchell said the contest brought in 41,000 votes.