In some parts of the U.S. today, the lawn is disappearing due to droughts. In other places, pesticide bans are pushing both the willing and unwilling towards organic lawn care. Concern for pollinators and the lack of time for meticulous lawn care inspire others to ask a once-unthinkable question:
"To lawn or not to lawn?"
Some communities and homeowner associations still legislate for a lawn standard that began in a different time. In case you haven't been following it, here's the story of a homeowner in Ohio who fought for the right to keep her land as a meadow. Her story broke during July and August 2015 and created lots of high-profile commentaries. It is not yet resolved.
I have grown a one-half acre meadow for 20 years. We have never received neighborhood push-back. Nor has this meadow had bad effects, to the best of my knowledge. On the positive side, it is the delight of countless birds, butterflies, bees, toads, dragonflies, and more. It is also very pretty.
See the photo with this story.
To satisfy my own curiosity about the history of lawns and lawncare practices, I have been compiling a history and bibliography of lawn critiques and lawn alternatives.
If you're from Connecticut, you may be interested to know that the longest running conference on lawn alternatives is still happening every year at Connecticut College in New London. It's called SALT: Smaller American Lawns Today.
The Connecticut and Massachusetts chapters of the Northeast Organic Farming Association were the first to create organic landscaping and lawn care standards.