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Tony Grist

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Lawns [Jul. 30th, 2016|11:11 am]
Tony Grist
The lawn is a beautifully understated English way of saying, "Look how fucking rich I am!"

Large areas of monotonously green, inedible grass are beautiful. Or that's what successive generations of landscape gardeners told successive generations of weak-minded landowners. Lancelot Capability Brown- or someone like him- started the rot- and it quickly spread worldwide because if the English milords were doing it it had to be the thing to do.

Actually  an unmown meadow full of wildflowers, or a field of waving corn is far lovelier, but...

Neither of these things proclaim wealth quite so brazenly and wastefully.

The man with the lawn is letting you know he has lots of land but doesn't need to put it into cultivation because his vast income is derived from his West Indian slave plantations other sources. Also that he has cash to throw away on mowing and weeding and watering and rolling. A lawn doesn't keep itself, you know.

Lawns are good for playing croquet and tennis on and gliding over in swooshy dresses. Otherwise....


I've got lawns on the mind because ours is being turned into a scale model of the Bernese Oberland by moles. My mother when she still cared about such things used to call in the moletrapper but I like the moles- with their fine disregard for 18th century aesthetic norms- and what I do is to go out with my spade and little wheelbarrow and remove their earthworks. It leaves a bit of a mess behind but, well, see above for my feelings on the subject.  What a lot of soil the moles do raise! I fill my barrow and then next day I fill it again. I wonder the lawn doesn't collapse into the galleries they've dug.

[User Picture]From: basefinder
2016-07-30 06:05 pm (UTC)

The grass is always greener over the septic tank

Here in the U.S. we have a similar worship of large, perfectly colored lawns. Water shortages have taken some of the edge off the mandate of green perfection, though on the three occasions when I owned a home there were local rules in place about keeping it cut short -- or else the city would fine you, send a crew to cut it, and bill you for the effort. The occasional brazen homeowner who would dare to "meadow" the front yard would be criticized, chastised, and possibly fined--all in the name of uniformity and property values.

I get that a reasonably sized lawn is a great place to play and relax, especially for kids, but there are probably millions of acres of lawns that are only touched by human feet when it is time to mow, water, fertilize, or weed.

I consider the lack of a lawn a benefit to renting an apartment.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2016-07-30 06:25 pm (UTC)

Re: The grass is always greener over the septic tank

I'm reminded of the opening sequence of Blue Velvet where the camera dives down into a typical lush suburban lawn to uncover insects doing awful things to one another...
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