If the word shire brings meadows, green fields and green hills to the mind of Tolkien, that etymology must be missing something.The word shire means a piece of land, and any kind of it, not just grassy hills. I'm sure if the Shire had been bigger, Tolkien would have named it Country.
Let's stop for a moment now to congratulate you on taking Tolkien amongst your sources. He really fits in well.
Even if he did so, you are fully aware that:
country < konturöy
Tur: laws, culture, agriculture, ...
Öy: place, country, state
dara: to scatter
dal (tas~tar): outer side
der: to collect, to gather
dar: narrow, a place with specified boundaries
dire: support, pole
töŕ: 1 foundation, root 2 origin, ancestors
töre-: to be born, originate
tōŕ: dust, earth, land
tȫr: honorary place in the house, country, earth (this is from where the word throne comes from)