Ever since my dad stuck me on a riding lawn mower at the age of 5 and gave me the responsibility of keeping the lawn mowed, I have asked myself one question: Why this obsession with perfect green grass? (okay – I’m lying about the age thing. I don’t remember how old I was, old enough to roll my eyes and sigh dramatically most likely!) And even though I now pay the boy next door to keep the green stuff neat and tidy I still wonder why people care so much. How did it become the standard to spend countless hours and too many dollars on something you wipe off onto the front door Welcome mat?

Landscaping companies make millions of dollars a year so Americans can achieve a lush carpet of green, edged with beds of tightly controlled flora that may or may not be native to their area. Yeah, yeah property values, image, blah, blah, blah…whatever. But look at this beauty of a place.

alaskaI can guarantee that Alaska didn’t spend one penny on Scott’s weed killer or Round Up’s fertilizer. Mother Nature did all that and it’s beautiful! Even without the majestic mountains or amazing glacier in the background, it makes me want to inhale a big pesticide-free sigh. Because, really, who wants to knowingly put down chemicals that can cause health problems in a place where children play, pets roll around on and is tracked through our house. Oh, that’s right…they make these signs for a reason.

pesticidesIt’s crazy that we fight Mother Nature so hard. It’s like plant genocide! I myself refuse to do it. I have a lush, trimmed green lawn required by the homeowners association but I dare you to find a blade of grass. It’s a mixture of stuff, sometimes they bloom these pretty little flowers I enjoy until the lawn boy comes along. I can peacefully watch the birds that pluck the organic earthworms from the ground and the bunnies that frequently come out at dusk without fear that they will start convulsing in a seizure right before my eyes. And my dog Harris and cat Percy can graze at times, too, like they do when they are trying to vomit in the house. On my carpet.

And if you enjoy taking care of grass, nurturing your lawn until it practically glows green and pulling local Zone 4 weeds from choking your Zone 9 exotic hibiscus then I applaud your passion. No, really I do. I am not trying to say that what you are doing is wrong. It just isn’t for me.  Astro-turf has more appeal, although I wouldn’t want to watch a bunny digest that. Nor would I go to these lengths, although I secretly want to give them a thumbs-up.

spraypaintgrassYeah, that’s paint! A Staten Island company spray paints lawns (no really, look). It has been popular among ball fields and golf courses for years so it was a matter of time before it gained a footing in residential neighborhoods. If the grass is dead, the vegetable-based paint is permanent. But I have no need for that because my native weeds are always green and healthy.

“Lawns say a lot about the homeowners that live there,” some say. “Your lawn presents an image to the neighborhood.”  Well, I guess my lawn is giving everyone in my ‘hood the middle finger. I know I’m not alone in my distaste for yard work. There are secret lawn rebels out there that grumble as they thatch their delicate sod, eyeing me with envy as I walk over my tough-as-nails lawn on the way to the pool. One day they will wake up and realize how much time and money they could have spent on fun things, like bettering themselves instead of dirt.

One last thing. When I googled “unmanicured lawns in America” images why in the world did Russel Brand’s image pop up? Seriously.