I’m sorry, I sort of had to laugh when reading an exchange between two garden writers. Not sure what social media form it was, but one let slip the admiration for a lawn. The silent gasp was almost audible from the other, though it was rather polite, and the first gardenperson was not quite, but almost apologetic in the defense of a bit of lawn.
I’d rather the garden gets religion than political savvy. But having my druthers I guess I want what “Punk Rock Garden” voiced, a little peace and love in the garden.
While I am not a great lover of lawns, particularly those which spread themselves across acres and acres of suburbia, I do have a defense of sorts for good use of a lawn in a landscape.
If you are too closeminded on the subject to read on, that is ok… we can live together, but perhaps even you, too, can learn to love a lawn if it is the right type in the right place.
I suppose the first thing I have to tell everyone is that my definition of a lawn is not everyone elses. Mine comes from the green spaces I was familiar with as a child in Ohio. We have plenty of rain here, first of all. And the old style lawn that I remember had plenty of clover in it, mown with a hand and bicep driven mower. There were lots of bees that enjoyed it for forage as I can attest by the large number of bee stings I managed to suffer each year.
And that brings me to one top reason to have some lawn in a yard: it is great for a play space for children, for a picnic spread, or a blanket in the sun. If you live in spring mud-heaven conditions like I do now, a grass lawn is one of the best ways to traverse from here to there without picking up huge clods of sticky mud on footwear.
It is cooling, and wears well with foot traffic. It can look serene and beautiful in a special place carved out for it. And if resisting the seduction of lawn care specialists with their many sprays and portrayals of velvet green “turf”, a lawn can be eco-friendly. Here in Ohio clover keeps things green when the grasses go dormant in late summer, their nitrogen producing nodes help to feed the grasses, and the mulching mowers which leave clippings small and in situ create a sustainable cycle.
And one of the things about gardens, let’s face it, is that it is not natural. We create and maintain our spaces… which is half the reason there is so much to learn in the gardening endeavor.
I just think if someone wants a little lawn let them have it.
And let’s give ourselves to educating and encouraging each other to do all the things we do in our husbanding of the earth with wisdom. It goes without saying that we are all on a journey of learning how to do things well and in benefit of ourselves, and our environment. Politics has little to do with that, in the final analysis. Politics was always better at bullying than at nurturing, and it is time we say so.
So I’m with Punk Rock Garden, let’s have a little more peace and love. Bring the Flower Child out to play in the garden.
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