10 votes

The strange appeal of garden lawns

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  1. cmccabe

    "I hate lawns," says Abbie Richards, who takes a hard line on them. "That idea of being entitled to your own useless piece of green carpet, just to say you can afford it, without putting it to the use of, say, growing food. Lawns are symbolic of our lack of thought, of the collective ignorance of so many of our actions... But [to move away from lawns] requires a cultural shift."

    It's easy to see why manicured lawns, as alluring as they can be, arouse such strong feelings. Depending on the local climate, they can require abundant chemical fertilisers and pesticides, as well as considerable watering – to the tune of 1.5 billion cubic metres (329 billion gallons) of municipal water each summer day – in order to maintain that verdant shade and weed-free surface. Then there's the pollution caused by mowing. None of this has been mitigated by environmental legislation to date, which has largely tended to concern itself with the management of agricultural land.

    5 votes