Splendor In The Grass

The new must-have for backyard barons: pricey riding mowers with lots of creature comforts

Mike McCall tends just a small garden on his quarter-acre plot outside Tampa, Fla. But he owns the Hummer of all yard machines, what he calls a lawn mower on steroids. Cradled in the plush, high-backed seat of his John Deere X595, McCall, 34, manicures his lawn in a quick 20 minutes, smoking a cigar while he cuts the grass--thanks to an automatic transmission, cruise control and power steering that makes one-handed driving a snap. He can plug a CD player into the 12-volt outlet and sip a beverage from the cup holder. There's enough juice under the hood--with a "high...

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