I Fought the Lawn & The Lawn Won

Grass I think that every gardener should have a well thought out stance on lawns. It is important in a gardener’s creed because it allows you to know exactly what the lawn to garden ratio of your yard will be.

Yesterday, Whimspiration made a comment on my post on watering in hot weather that got me to thinking. I have a Lawn Stance and I would like to share it with everyone.

Whim’s quote was:

Have you read the book “Food Not Lawns” yet? I haven’t had a chance to myself yet, but I hear it talks a lot about abandoning lawns altogether as complete wastes of time, water, and energy, and encourages instead planting something that gives back, like food crops.

I love to see people in suburbia who turn their yards into full fledged farms but not because it gets rid of lawns but it is because they are always stories of someone fighting the institution. Whimspiration and I would both like to see a utopian world where this is possible, but…

I don’t hate lawns, per say. I have even been occasionally awed by them. I do think that trying to get the golf course lawn is an utter waste of time and chemicals. But the idea of the lawn itself… It is not a terrible thing.

I know the history of lawns. I know they started out as a suburban “Keeping up with the Rockafellers” type thing. But the lawns themselves are not evil. Our methods and ideals for maintaining them could be greatly improved. The same as the methods and ideals for transportation, business, welfare and a million other things could be improved. Without all of these things, civilization would not be as good as it is, but we could do it all better.

Would I like for my whole yard to be a flower bed? HELL YES! But I have three very vibrant boys, who play with toy swords and lightsabers a lot. I have a choice to make.

I can have defined garden and defined lawn space so that my children can whack at each other and keep away from my lovely flowers, or I can have a wild habitat where my children revert to “Lord of the Flies” and I rely on Mother Nature to provide the beauty. And I have no doubt that Mother Nature would provide the beauty, it’s the pig hunts my kids would orchestrate that worries me.

Besides that, lawns are like frames. They create a window through which our flowers beds are viewed.

I hate that my city has a law against vegetable beds in the front yard, but I am not quiet sure that vegetable beds from one end of the block to the other is the answer either. Moderation in all things, even in lawn care maintenance.

I guess what I mean to say is that lawns can be a small lesson in learning how to take a look at the world from the other side, the other person’s gardening gloves, so to speak. All you idealists out there, keep growing your full front yard vegetable gardens and I promise I will be there right along with you the moment my kids turn 18 (or sooner if they give up on the swords and lightsabers).

But realize that not everyone can live an ideal life or yard.

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