“American like apple pie,” says the proverb, but who has the time to make cakes these days other than Thanksgiving? The most appropriate expression could be “American like a well-cut lawn”, since a green and grassy expanse of courtyard has been an obvious sign of the American dream for generations.
It is changing slowly, and I am happy first. If I want to experience a patch of uniform green grass without weeds, I will go to a golf course.
The truth about the meadows – at least as I see it
In my space, I prefer some wild nature and a lot of diversity compared to growing traditional green meadows, and it’s better for the planet. Here because.
Signal compliance of well-kept green lawns
The American lawn, green, uniform and well cut, is a manifestation of the American dream of home ownership. Tell others that the owner is a success and will be a good neighbor. It also suggests your socio-economic character, as maintaining a traditional lawn is expensive and time consuming.
Indeed, many homeowner associations require lawn maintenance in their regulations. It gives a home and neighborhood a certain status, suggesting both that status is important to the homeowner and compliance with status rules. No thanks.
The meadows involve a battle against nature
A deeper truth about lawns is that they may seem “natural”, but they are not natural. Have you ever found a typical American lawn in the middle of a wild area? Nature loves diversity like that found in a meadow or prairie, where many different life forms can be supported by a vibrant mix of plant life.
Creating and maintaining a lawn means fighting against any landscape and ecosystem nature provided. Everything that grows on the earth naturally must be removed before the lawn is sown, and this is only the beginning. Think about the work required: constant fertilization, irrigation, weeding, care and mowing. This destroys an entire ecosystem, from beneficial insects, butterflies and birds to the native habitat.
Traditional meadows destroy the environment
Traditional meadows not only remove natural ecosystems, but also pollute the environment. Americans rely heavily on toxic chemicals to take care of lawns. We fertilize our lawns with chemicals, we eliminate insects and larvae with chemicals and we mow the grass with gas engines.
When you feel that about 40 million acres of lawns exist only in the contiguous United States, it is easy to understand the harmful impact that much habitat loss and many chemicals will have on earth. Much better – and in my eyes, more beautiful – would be to replace a uniform lawn of one species with a mix of different native plants. These lawn alternatives are much better.
Native plants require little maintenance after establishment, require minimal irrigation and no fertilizer, and provide fodder and accommodation for pollinators and useful insects. It is a win-win option that could make a significant difference in the health of the planet.