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Green Landscaping: Greenacres
Wild Ones Handbook
THE LANDSCAPE THAT WAS, IS, WILL BE
- Prairie Plants Evolved To A Harsh Climate
- Forest Cathedrals
- The Influence of Effluence: Wetter Is Better
- Today's Lawns
- The English Burgher Lawn Aesthetic
- Can Lawns Kill?
- On The Edge of A Sustainable Landscape
U.S. Lawn Care Facts as Annual Totals
From Redesigning the American Lawn by F. Herbert Bormann, Diana Balmori, Gordon T. Geballe, Yale University Press, 1993
- A lawnmower pollutes as much in one hour as does driving an automobile for 350 miles. (We have found that this information, though valid at the time of publication, is no longer accurate. Based on current calculations, EPA estimates that the amount of pollution emitted by a lawnmower operating for one hour is equivalent to the amount of pollution emitted by a car driven for approximately 45 miles.)
- 30 to 60 percent of urban fresh water is used for watering lawns (depending on city).
- $5,250,000,000 is spent on fossil fuel-derived fertilizers for U.S. lawns.
- 67,000,000 pounds of synthetic pesticides are used on U.S. lawns.
- 60,000 to 70,000 severe accidents result from lawnmowers.
- 580,000,000 gallons of gasoline are used for lawnmowers.
- $25,000,000,000 is spent for the lawn care industry.
- $700,000,000 is spent for pesticides for U.S. lawns.
- 20,000,000 acres are planted in residential lawns.
Powered mowers contribute to noise pollution and hearing loss.
"An old error is
popular than a
new truth." -
A German Proverb
Burgher Lawn Aesthetic
by Virginia Scott Jenkins condensed from The Lawn, A History of An American Obsession
The mowed lawn aesthetic originated in the late 18th century from aristocratic France and England. Landscape architect Andre LeNotre designed small lawn areas for the Palace of Versailles. This aesthetic was rapidly adopted by the rich of England, because turf grass grew easily in the English climate of moderate temperatures and frequent rains.
The U.S. colonists also adopted the lawn aesthetic in an attempt to transform the wildness of the new country into the sophistication of the old world. Landscape architects again were at the forefront, and Lancelot Brown created thousands of acres of magnificent parks using lawn turf and trees.
Prior to the middle of the 19th century, U.S. homes were either built fronting up to the street or road, or else with a small fenced front yard consisting of bare ground or garden plots. The middle class did not copy the wealthy lawn aesthetic until after the Civil War, with the stimulus of the new landscape architects leading the way.
In the late 19th and early 20th century, the USDA, the U.S. Golf Association, and the Garden Clubs of America jointly spread the front lawn ethic throughout the U.S. [They] held competitions for landscaping and shamed neighbors into compliance by setting strong example.
Can Lawns Kill?
by Colleen Aagesen & Mary Fiscus Condensed From the Heartland Journal
Wildlife specialists, such as Diana Conger of Washington, D.C., call bird poisonings in residential areas lawncare syndrome. Symptoms enumerated by toxicologists include excessive salivation, grand mal seizures, wild flapping and screaming, most often followed by death.
Ward Stone, New York State's wildlife pathologist, sees more than that in the poisonings. The songbirds act as miners' canaries for us in detecting the buildup of chemicals that may ultimately threaten humans," reports Stone.
According to the National Academy of Sciences, lawn use is a significant component of the total pesticide problem. NAS said that although the farmer uses pesticides more widely, the homeowner uses 10 times more per acre than do farmers.