Before I started reading this book, I thought about my yard at home, about the yards in nearby neighborhoods and how they look. I live out in the country so my grass just grows naturally. No extra fertilizers, no automatic sprinkler systems, just whatever decides to grow. Houses in nearby neighborhoods are well-kept and very green and you’re able to see the perfect stripes or patterns they create when they mow. Paul Robbins trys to answer the question of why people and grasses do what they do. Robbins interviews homeowners about their lawns, and uses national surveys, analysis from aerial photos, and economic data to determine what people really feel about and how they treat their lawns.
“What is perhaps most remarkable is that people who use chemicals on their lawn tend to be more likely to believe that lawn care has a negative effect on local water quality than people who do not” (2). But what’s funny about this is that even if they know it’s bad for the environment they still do it, because they want to have a great beautiful lawn that will impress people.
In chapter 2: Is the Lawn an Expression of American Culture? I wondered if being from a certain area determined whether or not your lawn was a certain way. Take for example the two houses on page 10. Looking at a home in Columbus, Ohio compared to a village in India. The difference is well, for lack of words, shocking. There are different types of grass for different season, warm and cool, as well as where their origin.
In Chapter 6: Do Lawn People Choose Lawns? The statistic of how much U.S. house-holds spend on lawn care was quite surprising. “According to the National Gardening Association, U.S. house-holds spend $222 each on lawn care equipment and chemicals annually, the marginal cost of such an investment; this climbs considerably in households with incomes less than $30,000″ (98). If your neighbors use lawn chemicals then you are more likely to do the same because that’s what Americans do.