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by Nicholas Barnard on July 26th, 2003

It amazes me how much effort people put into grass.

My dad (at the moment) works for a lawn care company selling services to maintain this man made natural “carpet.” Of course we treat our lawns like bad children, it always needs lots of attention to make sure it is doing the “right” thing.

Suburbia is about the control of nature. (Assuming you can call the bastardized version of plants and animals that exists in suburbia nature.) Whereas urban areas for the most part just displace natural things and confine nature to specific areas, but urban areas make no attempt to look natural. There is no pseudo nature, controlled and contrived into a pretty picture to suite personal or communal tastes, as exists in suburbia.

It is my contention that grass was initially fundamentally like a Timex watch, or a SUV (or even a 17″ Apple Powerbook, despite its inherent beauty.) — It was something that was bought or maintained to show off the fact that you had money. Lawns (especially if you insist on very green lawns) are rather expensive to maintain with fertilizer, mowing, aerating, weeding, etc, etc…

The important thing to consider is whats the alternative? You could let wild grasses and flowers overtake your lawn and enjoy the true nature in stark contrast to the controlled primness of a “proper” suburban lawn. This is of course assuming that your neighbors and/or the city don’t take it upon themselves to mow your lawn and bill you for the trespassing and destruction of property. (Of course in their defense this is in the name of “property value.” Is it amazing how obsessed w are with money?)

Another alternative is to completely landscape your yard leaving no grass, albeit this only replaces on constructed nature scene with another.

You could finally put gravel in. (I’ve seen this in retirement areas in Florida.) Or, just pave the whole damn thing. (Although I can see the city complaining in this case as well.)

I’m also quite convinced that grass is a chosen weed, but I’ll have to research further to support this claim.

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