Sunday, January 17, 2010

Ending our Love Affair with Lawns

The lush green lawn has been a symbol of prosperityfor as long as any of us can remember. It harkens back to old wealthy estates of the East Coast and Europe with acres of rolling green turf, great for polo, croquet, and ladies laying around on blankets in sun dresses and wide brimmed hats while the men take the boat for a row in the lake.

All of this is lovely, or would be if we lived in Connecticut. The reality though is that our climate is slightly (hint of sarcasm there) less lawn friendly . Recently, though, the misconception that Southern California is some sort of semi-tropical paradise is finally meeting the reality of our water shortages and how shall we say this ... 'the honeymoon is over'?

All over the Southwest lawns are being pulled up in favor of more drought tolerant and less maintenance intensive landscapes and the results are impressive:
  • Habitat Gardens full of flowering shrubs are bringing birds, butterflies, and lizards back into our gardens.

  • Rain Gardens (so called because they are designed to either store all rainwater or allow it to permeate the soil) are preventing thousands of gallons of polluted runoff from entering our watersheds each year.

  • Native Gardens are restoring habitat destroyed by development.

All of these gardens not only use up to 70% less water than lawns but require almost no fertilizers and other chemicals and pesticides to thrive in our hot, dry climate and, to top it all off, any of these gardens can be designed in a multitude of garden styles from Modern to Asian, Desert to Mediterranean.

So, are you ready to end your love affair with your lawn?

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