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Green Lawn Love Affair


How did your lawn fare through this torrid summer?  Was it a little browner, or perhaps weedier than last year? America has a love affair with green bucolic lawns for as far as the eye can see.  Local governments enact ordinances to make sure that the neighborhood lawns maintain a certain aesthetic look.  Americans spend a tremendous amount of their hard earned cash on lawn maintenance services, fertilizers, weed control, pesticides, and gasoline to fuel those lawn mowers and leaf blowers.  In fact we spend $40 billion per year on our lawns.  The urge to have that perfect manicured golfesque putting green look drives many of us to drink. Fortunately there are a few individuals in this country that buck the traditional manicured Kentucky blue grass lawns we see across these United States.  Some individuals plant vegetable gardens in their front lawns, some seek to bring back native plant species to their front lawns, (though many view them as giant weed patches), and some just plain give up and let nature run its course.  If you happen to be in this camp, you’ve probably experienced the wrath of neighbors and local law enforcement enforcing local ordinances.  Some of you who live in the western part of the U.S., particularly in the desert areas, have gotten smart and started to plant lawns that resemble your native habitats.  America needs to lighten up on this whole green lawn business.  We need to allow our lawns to return to their native habitats, if that is what individuals want to do.  Local city officials need to ease up on those giant vegetable patches in the front lawn, or those prairie grasses that can grow as tall as a man, or even wildflower gardens that seem to attract all of those bees, birds, and butterflies.   Allowing variety in our front lawns, or back ones, can conserve water resources, and reduce the flow of fertilizers, pesticides, and weed control products back into our water tables.  They can become sanctuaries for local fauna, and create a whole new neighborhood feng shui.  What better way to create neighborhood good will then sharing the bounty from a front lawn vegetable patch?


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