GREENSCAPE GARDENS LAWN TIPS
Lawns Help Make Life More Pleasant!
Lawns became popular hundred of years ago when the early landscape architects included them in designs for royal estates and parks in England. They were meant to give people a pleasant environment in which to walk, picnic and play sports. The concept of the lawns was carried to North America with the early settlers and given a uniquely New World twist---lawns were used to surround the homes of the common man. On this continent lawns were for everybody, not just the privileged few.
Some researchers estimate that as much as 50 million acres of lawn and sports turf area are being cared for by homeowners and professionals. In the U.S. alone, more than 100 million people operate more than 60 million lawn mowers. Why do they do it? One reason has to do with aesthetics and a sense of design and proportion. A lawn provides a pleasant surrounding for a home. If all the property were landscaped with trees and gardens, nothing would stand out. There would be no focus. A lawn provides a soft backdrop of accents and points of visual interest.
Another reason is more practical. A lawn provides a clear view of roadways and walkways from the house. If a front yard was filled with a jumble of bushes and plants of different sizes and shapes, it would be easy for a prowler or an animal to lurk in this jungle unobserved. Lawns provide a buffer zone to keep pesky insects away from the house. Farmers learned long ago that it’s a good idea to maintain a lawn between the house and the fields just for this reason. A lawn has a cooling effect also. As water evaporates off a lawn, the surrounding air is cooled---reducing the load on a home’s air conditioning system. That saves energy and money. A lawn’s root system is a kind of natural filter that screens out impurities. University research shows that acid rain is less acid after it leaches through a turf root zone. Lawns play a role in replenishing the oxygen supply, preventing soil erosion, filtering dust and pollen from the air, abating noise pollution, and reducing glare. All of the above are true.
But lawns do more. They satisfy a psychological need. Lawns are relaxing. It must have something to do with the fact that a lawn is a wide, flat area of smooth, green color. Many people find it soothing to sit outside and just watch the lawn spread away from the house and blend into the neighbor’s green world. It calms the nerves after a hectic day. Sometimes you hear people talk about gardening every square inch of their property, so there’s no more lawn to tend. But just imagine your neighborhood with every bit of ground sprouting zigzags of this and that. It would not be relaxing without the greenery of established turf. Lawns are islands of serenity that makes life more pleasant.