This is an image of my neighborhood. Being a gated community, of course there are rules on how tall the grass can be, how yellow it can be before they send you letters, and how many weeds can grow in your front lawn. *sigh*.
But check this lawn out:
I don’t know if you can really see the image well, but that is a house up the road from my home. These people have spent countless summers perfecting this English garden. If you look beyond the garden, you’ll notice a thin cement path. This pathway encircles the entire neighborhood. Whenever I walk on this path, I always pass behind this house. I’m amazed at the work they’ve put into the garden. My evil self is so tempted to one day frolic through the garden and to rip it all out…but I would never do that.
Anyway, so about the book. I think that it is pathetic how obsessed we tend to be over our lawns. And when I mean obsessed, I mean using chemicals to make the greenest grass, fertilizers to help it keep that way, weed killers to keep little yellow flowers from growing amongst the sea of green.
Before we moved to the neighborhood in the image above, I was the one who took care of the lawn. I actually did a very good job in fact. I cut the grass, trimmed the trees, trimmed the bushes. But I NEVER poured chemicals on my lawn. I believe that it should be kept natural, yet presentable since it is your lawn. But it is unnecessary to make it perfect. Yes, I know this sounds hypocritical, but I think that it’s important to keep it (tended?) without adding chemicals to the lawn. But at our new house, we hired a landscaping crew to take care of our lawn. But it is my duty to tend the pond in the backyard and the plants that grow around it. Anyway, to tie it in with the book, I don’t let myself be controlled by our society’s standards for lawns, nor do I let companies tell me how my lawn should look.
When did we become so obsessed with lawn care? Perhaps in the 1950s with the growth of American gated community-type neighborhoods. The VERY rapid growth…People began to see lawns popping up all over the place, and real estate companies saw this as an opportunity to make more money off of the sales of homes by placing more value on the lawns.
Robbins points out that there are three types of people who take care of lawns.
1. People who do it for pride
2. People who do it as a chore
3. People who get anxiety from lawn care
The 3 group of people tend to worry about the chemicals they are putting on their lawns. Is it the right choice? Did I buy the right brand? Is this chemical going to leak into my water supply? Will my dog die from this? How much should I spray? Is this weed killer spray ok for my grass?
By the way, my very insistent mother urged me to buy a weed killer spray to use on the front lawn. When i went to Home Depot, they told me that with these weed killers, to be very careful because it can kill the grass. WELL THEN WHERE THE HELL DO I USE IT? I bought this because I wanted to kill the weeds in my front lawn. I assumed then, that I was supposed to not actually use the spray head of the bottle, but to instead apply the chemical through one of those tear drop thingys, directly onto the weed being killed. Ugh. THIS is frustration.
Robbins mentioned how he somewhat regretted not adding chemicals to his home in Columbus before moving to AZ. Umm, I would never regret not adding chemicals to my own yard. The only chemicals I’ve ever used, is the weed killer spray. And I used it on the driveway and brick path in the backyard, but NEVER on the lawn itself.
Before reading this book, I honestly never thought about lawnsas something other than what it is. It certainly has shaped our culture, and has influenced gated communities to great lengths.
He had a very interesting conclusion to lawns and lawn people. Lawns cannot be completely controlled. That’s what makes them beautiful, with the constant human-plant-insect interaction. I think that having a perfect lawn shows that you have complete control over something that you shouldn’t, and that you are powerful. But, I think that lawn care is exactly as Robbins says: an interaction between every aspect of our world.