06 February 2011

377 Albion Street, Brunswick, VIC, Australia

To start this blog, here is a quintessential example of what Mow Your Lawn! is all about. It may not be the most ramshackle property we've seen, and it's not an architectural abomination, but it has so many of the classic qualities of a neglected, intriguing property.

Firstly, the lawn. Mow your lawn! There is just no excuse for a lawn being this overgrown. You can easily pick up a lawnmower for $50 on eBay and it'll use just a few precious moments of your weekend to make your house look presentable. If you aren't physically up to mowing a lawn, I sympathise, but if you can forego a couple of stubbies a week, you can get yourself a gardener to do it cheaply and quickly. Or even cheaper, put an annoying local child to good use behind their father's lawnmower for a ludicrously low amount of spare change.

Secondly, the incongruity of the house. The front looks neat enough – the paint isn't hopelessly dull or peeling away, in stark contrast to the lawn or to the miserable letterbox. So is somebody looking after this place? It's hard not to be intrigued. But if they are, well, you can't exactly get to that front door.

Thirdly, the neglected rear of the house. Through a gate that's just lazily resting open, you can see all kinds of stuff lying around at the back. Including a hose that's still connected. I'm just even more mystified. It's hard to tell if somebody's living here and has no sense of tidiness or lawnmowery, or if the property has – fairly recently – been left to fend for itself against nature and the triffids. Whatever the case, a bit of lawnmowery, some fence repairs, and a big old tidy-up could make this place a star on Albion Street.

Rating: Damnable.

So with our quintessential example established, join us to see more fascinating places from inner Melbourne and elsewhere, including a few forays to New Zealand.

Update (20 March 2011): The rating for this property has been revised down to Unpleasant after the lawn was mowed; see this entry for details.


  1. yeswetriedtocutthelawnwithaknifeandourhandsFebruary 6, 2011 at 9:20 PM

    Well, having been in possession of a beautiful lawn specimen that looked VERY much like this one, I am willing to vouch for it's many merits and endearing qualities. Also, that is $50 worth of cheap wine that could be being consumed. Lawn vs wine is like paper, scissors, rock....but you ALWAYS know which one will win! =)

  2. "Well, having been in possession of a beautiful lawn specimen that looked VERY much like this one, I am willing to vouch for it's many merits and endearing qualities."

    Adventure playground on the cheap? Convenient source of small mammals for dinner? A way to commune with nature without having to actually try? Somewhere to throw the dead bodies of local youngsters, or worse, the last power bill?

    Hmm, perhaps I should reconsider my preference for mown lawns ...

  3. thebonfiremayhavehadadverseeffectsonourbondFebruary 14, 2011 at 7:49 PM

    with a specimen like this, you don't have to commune with nature... NATURE COMMUNES WITH YOU!

    Also a good source of suburban bonfire material, a nice cushy landing when falling off the roof, the ideal comfy drunken pass out spot.... the possibilities are endless

  4. By nature, do you primarily mean spiders/weta communing with you in your sleeping hours? Because I tend to prefer not to commune with that particular form of nature.

  5. Hi! I am so honoured that my old house has made it onto your wonderful blog (and may have even been responsible for inspiring it!)!

    I was living in this house at the time the photo was taken so am especially proud. I am especially grateful that you dedicated the valuable time which could have otherwise been wasted on pointless activities like learning something, creating something, or spending time with loved ones, for this extremely valuable public service.

    Had I known you were lurking about, and peering and taking photos through my fence, I would've invited you in! We could've had a nice cuppa and talked landscaping. Some would call your snooping a breach of privacy! BAH HUMBUG TO THEM! I welcome the thoughtful and humorous critique!

    Thanks for the landscaping advice also. While your recommendations don't really harmonise with my personal priorities or aesthetic, I am really grateful for your thoughts. If only I could return the favour! Although I've not seen your place, a couple of suggestions do come to mind as probably being appropriate. Introduction of a little bit of chaos into your immediate environment might be a good idea. Not too much at first, as I understand it might be deeply traumatic, but just a little to innoculate yourself against the HORRENDOUS NIGHTMARE OF COMPLEXITY AND CHAOS that is reality. It's frightening I know, but as you increase the dosage over time, maybe a misplaced or untrimmed plant here, leaving out a coffee cup (with drips down the side!) for a couple of days there, you will gradually be able to increasingly cope with, you know, all that stuff that gives you those icky feelings of, like, not being IN CONTROL OF ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING.

    Also, removal of that stick from inside your bum is also a great idea, and will make you SOOOO much more comfortable.

    This shit made my day, seriously. thanks.

    Much Love,
    ex-resident of 377 albion street, and advocate for the rights of invasive weeds.

  6. Wow, I am immensely proud that not only did we finally get a comment from a resident of a house that we've featured, but that it was THIS one! Anyway, don't worry, the stick obviously isn't lodged too far up my rectum in light of how I've been too lazy to keep the blog updated.

    You will be pleased to know that at no point did I breach your privacy, nor anybody else's privacy in any entry on this blog. You see, in Australia, it is perfectly legal to take photos from public land. I just stood on the footpath and took a few quick snaps as I walked past (while using the time on useless things such as daily exercise). I didn't even need to peer in or take photos through the fence since the back gate was just hanging wide open, inviting passing pedestrians to check out the wonders contained beyond it.

    I would've perhaps knocked on the door to dispense landscaping advice over a cuppa, but given the impossibility of getting from the front gate to the door through those weeds, I am afraid I was not able to make your acquaintance. Now excuse me while I return to my place, which you will be delighted to know is not a beacon of sterility or sanity. My approach to desks in particular is, shall we say, haphazard.

    An advocate of houses not looking derelict or abandoned

  7. This website is absolutely amazing. What a bunch of toffee- nosed whingers. But geez you've given me some laughs...

    You seriously have nothing better to do with your time than walk around the streets looking down your nose at people who live "below" your standards?

    Is there a problem with leaving the gate open? or a hose still plugged in? Or heaven forbid a non-retro piece of furniture in the back yard? Do you wish to live in a homogenised suburb where all the houses look the same with cute little lawns and an Australian flag in the window?

    Oh and lets not forget those pesky spiders!!! KILL THEM ALL I SAY, ONLY ACCEPTED NON-ICKY SPECIES IN BRUNSWICK. Boot out the low income earners, they don't belong here any more, they're dirty and ruin my view while I do my daily exercise!!!

    By the way. I too am an ex resident of 377 Albion Street. I lived there for 7 years and moved out three years ago. I loved that house, I lived there with my future wife, adopted a pet that would have gone feral, had a party to celebrate completing my SECOND university degree (wow, people in run down houses with no money getting an education? unheard of!!), ahhhhh the memories. What they have done to that house now is a disgrace. It looks totally out of place with all that corrugated iron towering over it. The whole area is rapidly losing what once made it great.

    So to all the people that move into beautiful old Cal' bungalows and rip them down but keep the street facade thinking they are in touch with the heritage of the area (only because they were forced to anyway). YOU ARE NOT IMPROVING THE AREA, YOU ARE DESTROYING IT. Watching "Death In Brunswick" and chuckling along all self satisfied and nostalgic and thinking that you are part something really cool isn't going to fill that little void in your life.

    But please, stay there. I love Coburg just the way it is.

    Warmest Regards,


  8. haha... WOAH!! Calm down with the crazy desk, you wild rebel!

    Seriously, you rule. Bringing in LEGALITY like that!!! A classic move, by all accounts. No, it's not illegal to be either smug, whiney, or passive agressive either. Just really, really boring!