Hello toot friends, I bring #antiLawn memes.
I'm hoping to radicalise you all against the boring monoculture lawn and turn you into biodiversity defenders.
Did you know that the green lawn that is so common today was originally a way for the landed gentry to show off their wealth? It was meant to imply the owner could afford to have all this land being non productive, setting them apart from those whose livelihood depended on what they could cultivate.
From the beginning, it was an ostentatious display of obscene wealth.
We could grow food instead of invasive green grass.
It is true that the average backyard will not be productive enough to sustain even a single family needs, but it will provide something. And more importantly it will be a refuge for bugs and worms and birds. It will also make us feel connected to the earth and have some control over our food sources.
Besides, if everyone does it, we could possibly sustain each other in the future.
But perhaps even better than food Gardens are native gardens.
They will sustain a wide variety of wildlife and restore balance to our environment.
Plus they usually require very little maintenance, which is not only cheaper but also cleaner than firing up your fossil fuel powered lawnmower.
Keeping a green mowed lawn is expensive, labour intensive, water intensive and, let's face it, noisy and annoying.
What do we get in return?
Little more than avoided criticism from uptight neighbours and nosy resident associations. It gives us nothing except keeping us from being (wrongly) judged in our neighbourhood.
We can do better.
But criticism and peer pressure are certainly a strong force. So we need to start by talking about it. We need to discuss the absurdity of lawns with those around us and get them excited about the alternatives.
If you are renting, this might be even harder or even impossible. But you can try.
Or you could try seed bombs or guerrilla gardening instead. 😏
Wild gardens can also be perfectly suitable for leisure and recreation. We have been brainwashed into believing everyone needs a green flat square to sit in. But they are lifeless and dull.
Our kids will have more adventures and grow to be curious and filled with wonder when their environment is richer.
Anyway I hope you are now fully radicalised #antiLawn and ready to re-wild your bit of planet.
It is easy to feel there's nothing we can do to help our Earth, but even a small lawn can be a huge ecosystem, from the viewpoint of tiny bug or butterfly.
I'm overwhelmed and grateful by the response my silly thread is having.
Of course there's lots that I don't know, I just put together a few memes!
But if you want to go deeper I can recommend reading the book Food Not Lawns.
It is freely available here (email registration required, I think) :
Thank you all!
@pezmico moving from lawn is not just nice from a “might get food” sort of way; it’s also better for carbon capture, I believe, and ecosystem health, and water management. Plus it’s just nicer aesthetically 🤷♂️
@dantescanline sorry, I should have. Captioned all the previous ones but got tired/busy and kinda gave up.
@dantescanline it's just the last 8 that I kinda dumped together because I didn't have a lot more to say, but I still wanted to share them. 🙂
Plus I got busy at the time. Soz.
@pezmico absofuckinglutely here for the moth with a gun meme, moths love biodiversity too <3
Natural but delicately maintained nature like the first nations have done has always, always been more beautiful to me, and if I ever end up with more money than I need to cover the needs of my immediate community and me, supporting that is absolutely where the rest of it's going
@pezmico I'm a big fan of low-growing native plants like (sorry, I am using latin names because I can't find their Te Reo names) leptinella dioica and and scleranthus biflorus. They look lush and green, so not too shocking to people who expect lawns
@pezmico good luck with this fight... When i was living near paris, I had a small 20m square garden. Grow it prairie style, many small flowers, tall grass ... And woke up one day to discover a neighbor, in the garden, mowing it ... The guy bring a ladder, climb above the fence, carried a lawnmower above the fence, and cut to "meet the standards of the residence" (nothing legal, just him pressuring people around). Like wtf.
@pezmico I don’t know what any of these plants and flowers are that are springing up where a lawn once was but I like them 😁
@pezmico I don't think this is accurate. in NZ people are more likely to pave/concrete/tar seal over the earth all around them, not making lawns.
@pezmico yes because I want to not be able to hang out in my back yard because its full of fuckin bees.
@pezmico I am actually convinced, but I have doubts. For my rather small garden which has some native plants here and there I would exclude growing vegetables since it requires way more labor than I am willing to invest.
But having a native plants ecosystem is interesting and could be nice to see.
My doubts are:
- high grass is difficult to go through for the elderly or someone wearing slippers.
- I know it is mostly psychological but high grass practically means "don't go through here"
- uncontrolled growth over a certain point is going to include in the ecosystem snakes, mice, wasps or other unwelcome animal guests for that area
So I guess we have to:
- create roads of low grass, as I see in some of your photos
- control growth in a way that is more complicated than "cutting the whole area at a certain height".
@pezmico That mostly means more work that goes into the care of the garden, and possibly accepting some unavoidable risk involving unwelcome animal guests in the areas around the garden (e.g. the house).
Having increasingly sterile areas approaching the house (high grass away, low grass near, no grass next to) is a solution, but again: more work.
I once saw a "garden architect" proposing a basicall dull base (grass doesn't grow spontaneously) to which he added spots of grass or bushes. This way the passing is not obstructed and native plants can grow how they prefer in provided "islands".
But he mentioned that this fundamentally depends from the native soil behaviour, and I believe that I would have a very hard time replicating that.
@cirku17 Of course you should do what works for your own lifestyle,and deal with your physical and mental needs.
For me just thinking about animals as unwanted guests doesn't work because it's their world as much as mine. Of course I'm not advocating for a full on mice infestation, but depending on the ecosystem where you live that's probably not going to be the case. I feel a couple of mice or a snake finding a home and a bit of food is a good thing.
Anyway thanks for sharing
@pezmico Interestingly enough, my "wild garden" got the attention of the city hall (Sweden) and a demand (with threat of hefty fine) that I made it look "nice". The saving grace was that the next door lots were overgrown and owned by the city hall, so I replied I only tried to fit into the local environment, referencing their land.
@pezmico When our grass was too tall, I’ve experienced the local government threatening to charge fines and hire a crew to cut the grass.
@pezmico Great thread. I have been experimenting with different approaches to reclaiming the lawns at my house. Vege garden, a dry riverbed with kowhai, carex grasses and lavender, a wild flower meadow strip. The riverbed in particular (basically a so-called french drain) has made a huge difference with eliminating stormwater runoff and minor surface flooding.
@pezmico We had most of these this year, but I’ve never had much success with carrots. Which it fine because they’re wasted on me
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