Ancestry

the American lawn

Like the interstate highway system, like fast-food chains, like television, the lawn has served to unify the American landscape; it is what makes the suburbs of Cleveland and Tucson, the streets of Eugene and Tampa, look more alike than not.

According to Ann Leighton, the late historian of gardens, America has made essentially one important contribution to world garden design: the custom of “uniting the front lawns of however many houses there may be on both sides of a street to present an untroubled aspect of expansive green to the passer-by.” France has its formal, geometric gardens, England its picturesque parks, and America this unbounded democratic river of manicured lawn along which we array our houses.

Continue reading:

Pollan, Michael. “Why Mow? The Case Against Lawns.” The New York Times. 28 May 1989.

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