I just watched an hour David Suzuki programme (‘The Nature of Things’ ep. ‘American Savannah’ available to Aussie TV on SBS) on the world’s lawn obsession and it was an eye-opener. How much money the developed world spends on the bowling-green quality lawn! He looked at lawn from all aspects including its social impact and meaning and how sport has even moved from astro-turf back to grasses as they are more conducive to play. A fascinating segment was that of a man who collected grass species and that is one botanical garden that would be fabulous to visit and challenging to our ability to discern differences in plants!
Of course, what lawns do for us aesthetically, it sucks out of the environment in the water use required to maintain a healthy, green space. But green is very important for sanity and tranquility to say nothing of its dust-absorbing and chemical balance inducing scientific properties which are many. The concrete jungles most of us inhabit surely increase respiratory and allergy illnesses and it is possible that the LACK of green surrounding us is contributing to the human allergy spectrum by removing the gradual resistance to pollens that humans may once have had. Country folk were always more robust than city folk and I never met one with a peanut allergy …
Here’s an alternative to the lawn but still retaining the green effect – Succulent Mats
You can also fill it with cacti, stones, make it all into a vege garden if you have adequate water. That goes for the nature strip as well – why DON’T they grown food trees and veges in our streets? AT LEAST silverbeet and herbs that grow like weeds but look good.
However, without our lawn, we would have little compost which I used as mulch and rot down as new soil. Where I live, the dust problem is a shocker and people still are dopey enough to BURN their garden waste including lawn. I have to get the word out there that you can make a good living processing and bagging compost. Then perhaps, they may stop.
What do you think of lawns?
Let us know if you have stumbled across or created any brilliant alternatives.