|You ladies wanna see my lawn?|
All of this mini-farming has me spending a lot of time online these days seeking advice and ideas on all things green. In the past week, an inspired article caught my eye.
In addition to edible plants, I'm also fairly adept at growing things that cover my lawn. Is it my fault that many of these things aren't what mainstream suburbanites typically consider 'grass'? Crabgrass is green. Clover is green. Chives are green. Why the fuck are you looking down your nose at me because I don't give a rat's ass about your perfect zoysia carpet? Who do I look like, George Toma?
Now, thanks to the giant brains at Scientific American, I've got ammunition.
Author Ferris Jabr (note: may not be a real person, given that name) bought a new home last year, and set to creating the perfect American greenscape. Until he stood back and asked these critical questions:
Surveying my garden, my impulse to rip up a flowering cluster of so-called weeds and replace it with a monochromatic mat now struck me as somewhat selfish and completely uninspired. Given a plot of land beside one’s house to use as one wishes, why turn so much of it into a lawn? Why must a lawn consist solely of uber-green, short-cropped, nearly identical blades of grass? What is a lawn anyways?Jabr goes on to answer the latter question with a deeply researched history of the American lawn. What was once symbolic of great wealth became a societal norm with the advent of the first planned communities in the late 1940s. Since then, an entire industry has arisen to goad us into believing that we're less than men if we can't grow and maintain lush turf, and HOAs across the land exist to ensure that we conform, or else. (Not mine, though. I'm the President. Because I don't want to live in a place with lawn nazis.)
|The lawn of my dreams|
In fact, Jabr continues, "A conventional lawn is also a complete perversion of grass’s typical life cycle."
His solution, and that of a growing number of scientists: flowering swards of low-growing broadleaf plants. As soon as I figure out what that sentence means, and convince my wife that I'm not a complete lunatic, I'll never mow a lawn again.