America’s love affair with our lawns is as passionate as ever. However, some things have changed—including our image of the ideal lawn. One person’s dream lawn may still be a green, weed-free turf worthy of a golf course and big enough for a John Deere riding mower. Others will be just as proud of a newly installed “no-mow” lawn and bragging rights for having to mow only once or twice each summer. Another family may be thrilled to welcome growing numbers of pollinators to their yard by installing a butterfly garden and a “bee-friendly” lawn.
Your Lawn is the Welcome Mat to Your Home
While there’s no longer one single picture of the “perfect” lawn, the idea that our lawns reflect something about ourselves has endured. In fact, many people see their lawns as an opportunity to express their personal values. Whether we’re committed to environmental stewardship. Or the familiar comfort of a green space with perfect lawn edging. Or simply the time savings from a lawn custom-tailored to reduce watering and mowing needs. Whatever our goals, our attachment to our lawns remains highly personal.
The History Behind Our Love of Lawns
Levittown, New York is considered the birthplace of the suburban-style American lawn and garden. Built between 1947 and 1951, it set the standard for the explosion in suburban housing developments to follow. A large, well-kept lawn was a source of pride and came to symbolize a healthy, orderly community. In the years following World War II, home ownership became more affordable. Lawn mowers also became easier to use and less costly. Consequently, lawn maintenance emerged as a new pass time.
Have we come full circle?
Before we had lawns, people used whatever space they had in their yards to grow food and even keep livestock. After decades of expanding lots covered with turf, things are changing again. Recent years have seen the size of the average American lawn shrink.
Many factors have also changed attitudes about the ideal lawn. These include environmental awareness; builders placing bigger houses on smaller lots; homeowners’ desire to save time and money; and droughts resulting in watering restrictions and increased watering costs. With the popularity of urban homesteading, turf gives way to vegetable gardens and fruit trees. People are even keeping beehives and chicken coops on city and suburban lots. Local ordinances have changed to meet the demands of self-sufficiency minded residents, as well as environmental goals.
Lawn Goals: The Perfect Lawn for You
Lawn services have also evolved to meet individual goals more effectively and with more efficient use of fertilizer and other inputs. Choosing the right seed mix and targeting weed control applications to your yard’s exact needs greatly reduces the amount of chemicals used.
Custom-tailored lawn care options:
Rainbow Lawncare’s Bee-Friendly lawns allow you to choose which portion of your yard to dedicate toward preserving pollinators.
Did you know?
- According the Lawn Institute, the cooling effect produced by eight average sized front yards is greater than a standard home’s central air conditioner?
- A 2016 study by the Metropolitan Council found approximately 20% of the Twin Cities treated drinking water is used for outdoor needs—mainly in landscaping and yards.