Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Disappearing Lawns

What’s up with Suburbanites and their lawns? For decades, families have been obsessed with growing and grooming perfect green lawns. Fungicides, fertilizers, and mulching all for the sake of having your kids play in open landscape or providing a piss area for your dog. Why? To what end? It’s an endless, cyclical cycle of one-upping the neighbors and spending money on a puzzling question, “How sustainable is your yard?”

Last year I spoke with homeowners in various cities from Pensacola, Boston, Miami, Atlanta and Los Angeles. All complained about the higher prices of water, which is essential for basic seed growth. All also experimented with organic fertilizers to prevent run-off of toxic chemicals into the water table and not to mention the need for gas for hourly mowing, trimming and edging.Fast forward, the trend I've been seeing is that lawns are disappearing. In their place are an interesting mixture of ground covers, succulents, ivy, shrubs, and evergreens. Although more yards are including compost bins, rain barrels and other sustainable features, the benefit of having less lawn and an anchor of native plants is coming more attractive. Our busy lives and shrinking wallets from the recession gives us less time and money to maintain grass blades and weeds. Why not opt for a sustainable yard that offers less maintenance, disease resistant and doesn’t have to be artificially feed?

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