If we’re going to kill something, let’s make it the lawn
Even if you don’t believe reports that bees and other insects are disappearing, tell me this: What exactly is the point of lawn?
To have green stuff around the house. Good. I like that. To have a place where kids can run around barefoot, kick balls, play with the garden hose, wahtever. Yeah, that’s fine too.
But why does it have to be lawn? And why does the lawn have to be perfect?
Most of us barely think about it, except when it needs to be raked or weeded or, sigh, mowed again, but why is it that green grass (and only certain varieties of green grass at that) is the default option?
And why must we treat it so harshly to keep out dandelions and other non-grass species - weeds, we call them, but I’m sure if they could speak our language they’d rather a different name? Because we like our front yards looking pretty. Fair enough.
But, again: Why does it have to be lawn? It’s not even real nature; it’s a monoculture that only gives you the illusion of being natural, because it’s green and it grows except, infuriatingly, where it’s too sunny or too wet or not wet enough. It’s all work and not much benefit. Except for the pretty green colour, during those lovely six days in June before it turns sickly yellow.
I ain’t no gardener myself. I am, on the contrary, the very non-proud owner of a massive Brown Thumb of Death. So the thought of having 1,500 square feet of garden to look after would fill me with dread. But I do like bees and friendly insects having a habitat, too, because if we make our environments unwelcoming to the friendly and/or useful life forms sooner or later we’ll have to deal with much more unpleasant ones. Nature abhors a vacuum, and all that.
I’m not saying you need to hire a landscaping company to build a rainforest outside your door. But surely there are ways to have ground covering that’s pretty, effortlessly green, friendly to tiny playful feet as well as useful non-human life forms, especially in backyards, if that’s where the kids trample it. Why not have something wilder than the perfect lawn that requires so much care and chemical weeding?
Spring is coming soon. I swear. Why not think differently this year?