my irregular lawn, well-shaved by Gatsby’s gardener

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Tea Addict

Senior Member
Republic of Korea Korean
Hello everyone. I would like to know what "my irregular lawn, well-shaved by Gatsby’s gardener" means in the following sentences:

I walked out the back way — just as Gatsby had when he had made his nervous circuit of the house half an hour before — and ran for a huge black knotted tree, whose massed leaves made a fabric against the rain. Once more it was pouring, and my irregular lawn, well-shaved by Gatsby’s gardener, abounded in small, muddy swamps and prehistoric marshes. There was nothing to look at from under the tree except Gatsby’s enormous house, so I stared at it, like Kant at his church steeple, for half an hour.

- F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, Chapter 5

Gatsby finally met Daisy in Nick's house, after five years of devotion and waiting. During the meeting, Nick discreetly decided to take a walk around the house, even in the pouring rain, leaving two alone in his house. So he walked out the back way and, under the large tree, stared at Gatsby's house next door.

In this part, I could not understand how Nick's lawn was still irregular after being well-shaved by Gatsby's gardener.
Before the reunion with Daisy, Gatsby sent a gardener to shave Nick's lawn, and so his lawn was well shaved now.
But why is it still described as "irregular"...?

I would very much appreciate your help. :)
 
  • velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    "Irregular" means it wasn't laid out in an exact geometrical shape - as in a formal garden. It implies there was some imaginative landscaping involved.
     

    Tea Addict

    Senior Member
    Republic of Korea Korean
    Dear velisarius,

    Thank you very much for the explanation.
    So it means that Nick's lawn was far from this:



    but rather, close to this:



    Now I got its meaning.
    I sincerely appreciate your help. :)
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    Something like that, though the small area of grass in the first picture probably doesn't qualify as "a lawn".
     

    Tea Addict

    Senior Member
    Republic of Korea Korean
    Dear velisarius,

    Thank you very much for the additional explanation.
    Oh, now I see that Nick's lawn was not as regular as the picture you gave!
    Now I think I got the concept.
    I sincerely appreciate your help. :)
     
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