Every new year, Alexandria man uses lawn trimmer to turn lawn into work of art

Arthur Brown stands amid one of the designs he cut into his lawn on the corner of University and Fifth avenues.
Arthur Brown stands amid one of the designs he cut into his lawn on the corner of University and Fifth avenues.

Arthur Brown is an artist with a lawn trimmer. For the past 26 years, before the start of the new year, he cuts out unique designs in his lawn on the corner of University and Fifth avenues in Alexandria.

It’s a tradition people in his neighborhood look forward to each year. Before he starts working on his designs, he says people are always asking him what he has planned.

“I just tell them, ‘You just have to wait and see,’ ” Brown said as he smiled.

As far as he knows, he’s the only one who creates lawn designs. Each year he hopes to find someone else who does so as well. But so far it looks like he’s only one. Brown invites others to at a least try because he would like to see what other people come up with.

Brown said he always starts his first design with the new year.

“I got my 2, my 0 and my 2 and 3 – 2023,” Brown said as he pointed them out.

He trimmed out the words “Hot” and “Cold” in the next design.

There’s really no purpose behind why he chose those words, he said. It might have a little to do with weather but he really just wanted to do something different.

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Other designs include a puzzle, a sun with rays, a maze, a triangle and arrows.

“l kind of like my arrows here,” he said.

“Then I’ve got another design down here,” Brown said as he walked along the road next to his lawn. “I call this design my pie slice. You see how it’s made?”

There are also what he calls “little snake ‘S's” and a window pane design.

His next design is dedicated to some children.

“I always have some little kids in my neighborhood and they always say, ‘Mr. Brown, what do you have in your grass design?’ So I kind of made like an ‘A’ here for them. And I carved out a ‘B’ here. And I have a ‘C’ here. Then I have a ‘D’ here,” he said.

2023’s design is special to him because he started working on it in November.

“What I did was throw all the seeds down. Seventy-five feet,” he said. He uses rye grass because it’s a winter grass and will hold until spring. The recent rains helped it grow quickly.

“And then when it started to grow, I got my Weed Eater and I started cutting out different patterns,” he said. “All these designs here are cut out with the Weed Eater.”

He draws out his designs a year in advance on paper. Then, when he’s ready to start working on his lawn, he places a paper with a design on the fence of the section on which he’ll be working.

Some people tell him he’s got a lot of time on his hands to be able to spend the amount of time he does to cut out the designs. But he doesn’t fish or hunt like other people do, he said. So, he devotes his time to doing something that he loves to do every year that not only makes him happy but other people around him.

This article originally appeared on Alexandria Town Talk: Alexandria man uses lawn trimmer to turn lawn into work of art