Americans’ ideas about their lawns are changing
A green area of grass called lawn has long been popular in American yards. But a growing number of gardeners and homeowners now see lawns as something of the past.
More and more Americans are getting rid of lawns
Dennis Liu of the EO Wilson Biodiversity Foundation in Durham, North Carolina, said, “America is unique in his fixation on the monoculture lawn. Monoculture is a term that means growing a single species.
Some cities are taking action against lawns. Las Vegas, for example, prohibits all lawns and requires their elimination.
The city is struggling the water scarcitya problem that is likely to worsen in the years to come.
Other cities distribute signs on the lawn with the inscription “healthy yard”. The idea is to to encourage homeowners who don’t use lawn chemicals or who mow their lawns less often. Many cities set rules around common tools like leaf blowers and gas-powered mowers, primarily because of noise.
In some parts of the United States, people are experimenting with greener lawns. They plant seed mixes with native grasses that don’t need as much water.
Others cut less grass from their lawns and let old plant enemies like dandelions and clover grow. Still others try to replace lawns, completely or gradually, with flowerbeds favorable to important insects such as bees.
These steps can lead to a more natural looking yard.
The pandemic has accelerated lawn abandonment. Gardening has become a hobby, and many non-gardeners were spending more time at home. They pay more attention to the natural world around them.
Alicia Holloway is an extension officer at the University of Georgia in Barrow County. She thinks a lot of people realized that their garden couldn’t just be decorative – something that looked good but served no purpose.
Holloway said: “It has to serve other purposes, whether it’s food, habitat …pack as many uses as possible. She described the change as “a change in thought.”
Lawns always appreciated
The American lawn is not about to disappear.
Many homeowner groups still have rules for keeping gardens neatly trimmed. And lawn care companies offer work to maintain large grassy areas.
Andrew Bray, vice president of government relations for the National Association of Landscape Professionals, a trade group, says lawns are still the most popular choice in the United States. People want neat outdoor spaces to relax, play and entertain.
He says his group supports the goal of making lawn care more environmentally friendly. But, he added, he believes some recent laws, such as those against blowers and gas-powered lawnmowers, have created a “difficult political environment”. Fraught is a term that means having a lot of stress or worry.
Liu said it was difficult to overcome tradition and neighbors’ expectations. He added that a lawn looks clean “and it’s easy to keep doing what you’re doing”.
But Liu added, “Once you have established a new balanceit’s easier”, and there are good results.
I am John Russell.
Julia Rubin reported this story for The Associated Press. John Russell adapted it for Learn English.
words in this story
unique – adj. used to say that something or someone is unlike anything or anyone else
to stare – v. constantly watching or thinking about something: giving one’s full attention to something
scarcity – nm : a very small supply : the state of being rare
to encourage – v. to make (someone) more likely to do something
habitat – nm the place or type of place where a plant or animal lives or grows naturally or normally
change -not. a change in behavior, opinion or belief
balance –nm a state of equilibrium between two forces