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View Full Version : Is there a grass lawn fixation outside North America?



Mr. Picklesworth
May 14th, 2012, 01:20 AM
So, like most young people I have encountered, I hate grass. Where I live (a small suburb south of Vancouver) every single house has a grass lawn in front and behind, and each of those lawns tends to be mowed once a week. At the root of this problem is that grass grows towards a height well beyond what people cut it to be, and it's a pretty sensitive plant so it ends up with weird blemishes unless you're completely obsessive about it. Which, unfortunately, some people are.

I could go on, but I'm just curious: are people obsessed with lawns outside North America? (Oh, maybe there's an escape from this madness!). Do we all look completely crazy to you?

MisterGaribaldi
May 14th, 2012, 01:27 AM
Yeah, I'd like to know this, too, as a citizen of the U.S.

not found
May 14th, 2012, 01:43 AM
Grass lawns are a luxury I miss from South Africa... Now I am surrounded by sand and it sucks.

Every kid deserves an awesome lawn to run around and play on.



404

Bucky Ball
May 14th, 2012, 01:52 AM
Yep, lawns are big in Australia, too, (even in towns in the desert) though not as big as they once were now people are realising how much water it takes to keep them up. We have issues with water here.

We have a fully native garden which doesn't need water and a small patch of lawn for out little dog to do its thing(!) on but that is sustained wholly and solely by recycled water from the washing machine and whatever rain we get ...

America, you are not alone when it comes to lawns, but it seems the obsession is on the wane here over the last decade.

KiwiNZ
May 14th, 2012, 01:58 AM
Our Gardener cuts our grass weekly in the peak growing season then fortnightly or monthly depending on growth.

MisterGaribaldi
May 14th, 2012, 02:02 AM
Had to look that one up. Am I the only one who gets a kick out of the word fortnight?

KiwiNZ
May 14th, 2012, 02:13 AM
One says it how it is in ones country:P

Simian Man
May 14th, 2012, 02:25 AM
My family owns a landscaping business in Florida which I worked for over around ten summers - which is the busy season. I guess I am obsessed with grass lawns. I can't pass one without judging it. Sometimes I lie awake at night fantasizing about how I will landscape my property once I own a house.

Some Floridians have rocks, sand or mulch on their property instead of grass, but with this you have to be nearly as vigilant with weeds - and it doesn't look nearly as good in my opinion.

Face-Ache
May 14th, 2012, 03:02 AM
As KiwiNZ mentioned, 'lawn obsession' is quite entrenched here in NZ. Depending on where you are in NZ, water isn't generally an issue, but we do have water-restrictions during the hotter months of some summers (Not this last summer just gone; it was crap!).

I admit, i'm a freak about our lawn. I mow it myself, because if i got 'a guy' in to mow it, he'd probably bring seeds in from other lawns stuck on the underside of his lawn-mower! See, obsessive i tell ya!

Simian, you might be able to help with this one - what i want to know, is what sort of fertiliser (or fertilizer) do you put on lawns to make them go that really lush, dark-green colour (or color) i see some lawns have? It'd be one with a high nitrogen element i'd imagine?

Rhaedas
May 14th, 2012, 03:48 AM
Different species of grass grow, look, and feel different. Some grow out in runners rather than up to form seed pods, and so require less cutting, some are thicker, have broader or thinner leaves, and of course the colors vary. They also vary in temperature and water tolerance, so that would affect how well they do in different regions, and if they yellow/brown up or not in the cold.

uRock
May 14th, 2012, 03:54 AM
After buying my house I installed drip irrigation for the trees and shrubs, then let the grass die off. I live in the desert and have a pool, so I do not see the need to waste thousands of gallons on grass. If I were to move back to a wetter climate, then I would definitely have a green lawn again.

KiwiNZ
May 14th, 2012, 04:02 AM
After buying my house I installed drip irrigation for the trees and shrubs, then let the grass die off. I live in the desert and have a pool, so I do not see the need to waste thousands of gallons on grass. If I were to move back to a wetter climate, then I would definitely have a green lawn again.

We use two Gutter rainwater collection tanks that old 600 liters (160 gallons) of water each. We use this for watering and topping up the Pools.

Bucky Ball
May 14th, 2012, 04:30 AM
As we can see from the posts on this thread, the OP's original question has been answered in the affirmative. ;)

KiwiNZ
May 14th, 2012, 04:32 AM
As we can see from the posts on this thread, the OP's original question has been answered in the affirmative. ;)

Caring for ones lawn and property in general does not equate to fixation, it does however indicate that people like to protect their property values and live in nice homes.

Bucky Ball
May 14th, 2012, 04:37 AM
Caring for ones lawn and property in general does not equate to fixation, it does however indicate that people like to protect their property values and live in nice homes.

This thread is about lawns and whether those outside North America are fixated by them. Some posters are definitely fixated, not necessarily you, of course ...

Personally, if I didn't have a little dog, the small lawn would be ripped up and replaced with veggies and herbs. Nought to do with not wanting to protect property value and live in a nice home. For me, that would make it nicer! Guess it depends on the definition of 'a nice home' ... ;)

cariboo907
May 14th, 2012, 05:18 AM
My European relatives actually ask if they can mow the lawn when they come to visit, I have both a ride-on mower and a gas powered push mower, they prefer using the push mower, so I'd say at least the Dutch have a lawn fixation. :)

uRock
May 14th, 2012, 05:27 AM
We use two Gutter rainwater collection tanks that old 600 liters (160 gallons) of water each. We use this for watering and topping up the Pools.

It is too dry here for such a system, though it would be of great use at my house in Virginia. We only had three inches of rain last year here in the Mojave in 2011.

When I lived in North Carolina, I kept my turf looking and feeling like a soft green carpet.

CharlesA
May 14th, 2012, 05:42 AM
After buying my house I installed drip irrigation for the trees and shrubs, then let the grass die off. I live in the desert and have a pool, so I do not see the need to waste thousands of gallons on grass. If I were to move back to a wetter climate, then I would definitely have a green lawn again.
I'm kinda wondering what I'd do if I got moved into a house of my own...

Probably do the whole "desert" landscape of rocks and dirt with a few shrubs thrown in.

lisati
May 14th, 2012, 05:43 AM
I used to mow our lawn fairly regularly, every fortnight or so, sometimes weekly. These days it's usually monthly, after Mrs Lisati gets on my case.

Guilden_NL
May 14th, 2012, 05:43 AM
Very big in the Netherlands, not so much here in Arizona. Quite a bit of difference in water.

Mr. Picklesworth
May 14th, 2012, 06:34 AM
My European relatives actually ask if they can mow the lawn when they come to visit, I have both a ride-on mower and a gas powered push mower, they prefer using the push mower, so I'd say at least the Dutch have a lawn fixation. :)

Ha, that's pretty cool.

Don't get me wrong: I like nice looking houses, and grass can be nice on the feet. I'm just wondering if grass is really the solution to everything :)

mips
May 14th, 2012, 07:55 AM
I could go on, but I'm just curious: are people obsessed with lawns outside North America? (Oh, maybe there's an escape from this madness!). Do we all look completely crazy to you?

From what I have seen on TV I must say you guys seem a bit obsessed when it comes to lawns.

We all like our lawns but over here we don't take it to that level. We also live in a country where water is a scares resource so watering your lawn is not really cool.

My lawn gets cut every second week. In winter it goes brown, looks dead and the dogs run dust paths in it :biggrin:

Walking on a golf course early in the morning just after sunrise with the dew still on the grass makes me wanna take off my clothes and run naked across it, it's just so nice :lolflag:

Face-Ache
May 14th, 2012, 08:08 AM
Caring for ones lawn and property in general does not equate to fixation, it does however indicate that people like to protect their property values and live in nice homes.

And have nice things :)

I don't think there's anything wrong with getting pleasure and enjoyment from material objects, as long as you don't define your sense of self-worth by said material objects (even the little ones like TV's and tech-gadgets etc, along with the biggies, houses, cars and such).

Grass might not be the solution to everything, but if you want to add $10K to your house value, mow the lawn :D

Paqman
May 14th, 2012, 08:31 AM
Beginning to think the only way to sort my lawn out is to take off and nuke the site from orbit. It's not so much a lawn as it is a motley collection of various organisms, some of which are classified as grasses.

Mowed it for the first time in a while the other day. We've got a hosepipe ban in effect here, so keeping it a bit shaggy keeps the moisture in.

Bucky Ball
May 14th, 2012, 08:53 AM
We've got a hosepipe ban in effect here, so keeping it a bit shaggy keeps the moisture in.

Run a pipe from the outlet pipe of your washing machine if you have one. Siphon the bath, reuse washing up water! :lolflag:

Seriously, the pipe from the laundry keeps the small lawn happening through hot Australian summers (admittedly not lush enough to roll about naked and frolic on).

Peter09
May 14th, 2012, 09:01 AM
Here in the UK we normally have enough rain to maintain a lawn. I think the reason lawns are generally popular here is:


You can walk/sit on them - allowing you to be out in the garden amongst the flowers etc - tea on the lawn :P
Other options can be more expensive, paving etc and for large areas it does not provide the same experience.
Not having a lawn means that you have a large area to weed or otherwise maintain.
Note in the uK many house will have a small grassed area in the front - basically option 3, while having a larger area which is more secluded in the back - basically option 1. (a sweeping generlisation I know).


As a slight aside, evidently in victorian times it was popular to have lawns of Camomile - I think it makes a slightly coarser lawn, it may be fragrent? Perhaps others have more detail of this.

Paqman
May 14th, 2012, 09:09 AM
Run a pipe from the outlet pipe of your washing machine if you have one. Siphon the bath, reuse washing up water! :lolflag:

Seriously, the pipe from the laundry keeps the small lawn happening through hot Australian summers (admittedly not lush enough to roll about naked and frolic on).

You've got to be a bit careful with grey water, don't leave it to sit, and I certainly wouldn't use water from the washing machine/dishwasher/kitchen sink without filtration. That stuff is pretty dirty and a lot of what's in it isn't great for plants. I guess if it was going straight on the lawn in a sunny place the UV would kill a lot of the bacteria, but you've still got a lot of solids and chemicals. Stuff from your bath/shower or other sinks outside the kitchen is reasonably clean though. If you want to get a bit techy you can set up a filtration system that uses plants and integrate it into your garden.

We've got a couple of water butts that catch rainwater off a roof. I've been meaning to get a submersible pump for them so that I can use a hose with them instead of a watering can. At the moment using them is a bit of a pain, so I don't as much as I should.

Bucky Ball
May 14th, 2012, 12:15 PM
You've got to be a bit careful with grey water, don't leave it to sit, and I certainly wouldn't use water from the washing machine/dishwasher/kitchen sink without filtration. That stuff is pretty dirty and a lot of what's in it isn't great for plants. I guess if it was going straight on the lawn in a sunny place the UV would kill a lot of the bacteria, but you've still got a lot of solids and chemicals. Stuff from your bath/shower or other sinks outside the kitchen is reasonably clean though. If you want to get a bit techy you can set up a filtration system that uses plants and integrate it into your garden.

We've got a couple of water butts that catch rainwater off a roof. I've been meaning to get a submersible pump for them so that I can use a hose with them instead of a watering can. At the moment using them is a bit of a pain, so I don't as much as I should.

No harmful chemicals. Just buy the right detergents that are safe for plants (though we only ever run it on the lawn). Freely available here. ;)

master5o1
May 14th, 2012, 12:29 PM
I do enjoy having grass to tread my bare feet into. I see some newer properties in Auckland with little to no lawn space.

smellyman
May 14th, 2012, 12:34 PM
lawns are really not good environmentally and not good for ones mental health, although some find it relaxing.

Our neighbor used to drop their little pebbles in a bucket one by one and wash them. You could hear pebbles dropping in a 5 gallon bucket all day. After they put the rocks back down they would vacum them.

After they mowed the lawn they would use scissors to cut around the hard to reach places and level out any uneven patches. Of course use an edger everyday along the sidewalk. Then pressure wash their sidewalk and driveway at least weekly

Meanwhile we just tried to keep our respectable, but they hated us so much. psychos.

forrestcupp
May 14th, 2012, 12:36 PM
Don't get me wrong: I like nice looking houses, and grass can be nice on the feet. I'm just wondering if grass is really the solution to everything :)

Everyone has their own preference. We don't all want to be blocked in by pavement and concrete. Some of us enjoy nature more than cities and smog.

I live in the middle of a large town/very small city, and I have a decent sized fenced in yard for being in town. But that's not enough for me, so we're looking at a house right now that sits on 5 acres of lawn. :)

If you have a lawn, there are lots of things you can do, that you can't in the middle of a concrete city. If I get the 5 acres, I'll be able to play football, Bocci, croquet, ride around on a 4-wheeler; I'll have the freedom to do whatever I want.

Some people are cut out for the city, no-grass life, but not me.

HermanAB
May 14th, 2012, 12:43 PM
So why not use Astroturf?

It has all the advantages of a lawn without the disadvantages.

Linuxratty
May 14th, 2012, 12:45 PM
I personally hate lawns...Huge expanse of grass,few trees and such..We had our property designated as a wildlife sanctuary...It's mostly trees,bushes and native plants. I feel it is far more inviting than a yard that looks like a golf course. The small bits that are lawn are mowed on average,once a month.

Paqman
May 14th, 2012, 12:47 PM
So why not use Astroturf?

It has all the advantages of a lawn without the disadvantages.

Sure, and while you're at it, why not replace all the rest of the plants in the garden with plastic ones and your wife with a Realdoll?

lisati
May 14th, 2012, 12:56 PM
Ours isn't too bad a size; other than a slope, it's fairly manageable. The only trouble is that there's a bit of a jungle out back beyond what used to be the fence line until some rather large trees started falling over: the landlord arranged for them to be removed (together with the fence), and put in a new fence on the real boundary line. I tried attacking the extra area with the mower for a few months but eventually gave up.

jshepherd
May 14th, 2012, 01:09 PM
Yes, here in the UK too. Even people in city centre dwellings try to create something of a lawn.
I have front and rear lawns but I hate gardening so we have a man come round once a fortnight to cut the grass. That said, he does a good job of it and we get a well tended look so passers by think I'm a keen gardener!

smellyman
May 14th, 2012, 02:04 PM
Everyone has their own preference. We don't all want to be blocked in by pavement and concrete. Some of us enjoy nature more than cities and smog.

I live in the middle of a large town/very small city, and I have a decent sized fenced in yard for being in town. But that's not enough for me, so we're looking at a house right now that sits on 5 acres of lawn. :)

If you have a lawn, there are lots of things you can do, that you can't in the middle of a concrete city. If I get the 5 acres, I'll be able to play football, Bocci, croquet, ride around on a 4-wheeler; I'll have the freedom to do whatever I want.

Some people are cut out for the city, no-grass life, but not me.

not having a lawn doesn't mean blocked in by concrete

forrestcupp
May 14th, 2012, 05:18 PM
not having a lawn doesn't mean blocked in by concrete

The only other thing it would likely mean would be to have everything landscaped without grassy areas, in which case I still couldn't play football or ride a quad around. ;)

KiwiNZ
May 14th, 2012, 07:58 PM
When we purchased our current home had about 1.5 acres of grass however we have put in a couple of very large decks, a lot of paving, the pools , Pentenque court and gardens including a glass house the grassed areas are considerably smaller. they look fantastic.

mamamia88
May 14th, 2012, 08:08 PM
I don't get it either. I used to hate mowing the lawn until I got a decent pair of headphones that allow me to listen to podcasts while doing it.

forrestcupp
May 14th, 2012, 09:21 PM
I don't get it either. I used to hate mowing the lawn until I got a decent pair of headphones that allow me to listen to podcasts while doing it.

Lol. You just gave me a revelation. The OP must be a teenager who is mad that his parents are making him mow the grass. :)

Mr. Picklesworth
May 14th, 2012, 10:51 PM
Lol. You just gave me a revelation. The OP must be a teenager who is mad that his parents are making him mow the grass. :)

Used to be, but I haven't been for a while. At this point it mostly bothers me when other people mow their lawns (with their noisy gas mowers) while I'm trying to work. My only relief is the knowledge that, within two weeks, their noisy efforts will be reversed.

Good guess, though. I do have some teenage lawnmowing angst left over.

KiwiNZ
May 14th, 2012, 10:54 PM
Used to be, but I haven't been for a while. At this point it mostly bothers me when other people mow their lawns (with their noisy gas mowers) while I'm trying to work. My only relief is the knowledge that, within two weeks, their noisy efforts will be rendered fruitless.

Good guess, though. I do have some teenage lawnmowing angst left over.

Maybe you should live in an inner city Apartment;)

Irihapeti
May 15th, 2012, 12:47 AM
Maybe you should live in an inner city Apartment;)

Actually, I do, and that's one of the reasons why I chose to do so.

Mind you, there were a few other reasons, such as getting too old (or maybe unmotivated) to manage a lifestyle block any longer.

When I want my lawn "fix", I just walk through a local park.

Paqman
May 15th, 2012, 07:12 AM
At this point it mostly bothers me when other people mow their lawns (with their noisy gas mowers)

Motor mowers are horrible, noisy, smelly, cantankerous beasts. I've got a push mower and enjoy the virtuous feeling every time I use it. Saves money, gets me a bit of exercise and doesn't spew out noise and fumes. Win.

If you've got a lawn big enough that you have to mow it with a petrol mower you might as well go hard, get a ride on and have some fun with it.

mips
May 15th, 2012, 09:18 AM
Motor mowers are horrible, noisy, smelly, cantankerous beasts.

There's nothing like the smell of 2-stroke fuel & freshly cut grass early in the morning ;)

wilee-nilee
May 15th, 2012, 10:40 AM
There's nothing like the smell of 2-stroke fuel & freshly cut grass early in the morning ;)

Ooooh that is right, mmmmm. :)

forrestcupp
May 15th, 2012, 11:56 AM
My only relief is the knowledge that, within two weeks, their noisy efforts will be reversed.Well, now you have to tell us what's going to happen in two weeks. You can't just leave us hanging like that. :)


There's nothing like the smell of 2-stroke fuel & freshly cut grass early in the morning ;)

Love it.

HermanAB
May 15th, 2012, 11:57 AM
Sure, and while you're at it, why not replace all the rest of the plants in the garden with plastic ones and your wife with a Realdoll?

Well, you know, wife#1 sure would have been better replaced with a Realdoll...

Paqman
May 15th, 2012, 12:07 PM
Well, now you have to tell us what's going to happen in two weeks. You can't just leave us hanging like that. :)


Er, dude, you might want to go away and have a little think about that.

forrestcupp
May 15th, 2012, 12:15 PM
Er, dude, you might want to go away and have a little think about that.

:lol:

It's still too early where I'm at, and I didn't get much sleep last night. I haven't had my caffeine yet. ;)

MasterNetra
May 15th, 2012, 10:15 PM
So why not use Astroturf?

It has all the advantages of a lawn without the disadvantages.

lol Not quite all the advantages, Lawns are good for soaking up water, good for wet climates and it helps hold down soil, lessens dust storms and what not.

KiwiNZ
May 15th, 2012, 10:21 PM
lol Not quite all the advantages, Lawns are good for soaking up water, good for wet climates and it helps hold down soil, lessens dust storms and what not.

Not to mention Astro turf is hideous. Looks worse than those horrible imitation brick and stone sidings that were the rage a few years back.

alexfish
May 16th, 2012, 01:27 AM
So, like most young people I have encountered, I hate grass. Where I live (a small suburb south of Vancouver) every single house has a grass lawn in front and behind, and each of those lawns tends to be mowed once a week. At the root of this problem is that grass grows towards a height well beyond what people cut it to be, and it's a pretty sensitive plant so it ends up with weird blemishes unless you're completely obsessive about it. Which, unfortunately, some people are.

I could go on, but I'm just curious: are people obsessed with lawns outside North America? (Oh, maybe there's an escape from this madness!). Do we all look completely crazy to you?
http://www.inhabitat.com/wp-content/uploads/greenconcrete-ed01.jpg

Swagman
May 16th, 2012, 02:09 PM
There's nothing like the smell of 2-stroke fuel & freshly cut grass early in the morning ;)

Especially if you use Castrol R Which smells as awesome as a BBQ on a sunny day.

flemur13013
May 16th, 2012, 03:35 PM
Well, now we know that there really is such a thing as a stupid question.

Look up "English garden" or "French estate" pics if you want to see some major lawnage.

sdowney717
May 16th, 2012, 04:31 PM
I hardly do a thing to my Emerald Zoysia lawn. It is a fine bladed slow growth and spreads outward like a carpet. I prefer that grass and it is nice looking grass that is easy to take care of. I also have some Meyer Zoysia.
Much of peoples frustration with grass is growing the wrong kind and then paying too much to take care of it.
http://www.thebiggreeninc.com/sod.htm

Emerald

Fine texture and low growing to the ground
Low shade tolerance. Prefers full sun.
Low recovery rate. It does well in high traffic, but slow to recover from damage.
It is a beautiful grass, but requires attention, regular maintenance and special care to fertilize.
Emerald is a popular grass used in the greens of golf courses. If you are looking for a top quality lawn this grass is the one.
Dark green in color
Excellent drought resistance.
Low cold tolerance.

Mr. Picklesworth
May 16th, 2012, 07:01 PM
Well, now we know that there really is such a thing as a stupid question.

Look up "English garden" or "French estate" pics if you want to see some major lawnage.

Hey, that isn't very nice :(

Sure, I doubt anyone would disagree that grass is kind of nice, but your answer doesn't get to the meat of it at all: does everyone and his dog want those strands of grass to all be the exact same length and colour? And must every empty field be grass, or is there room in peoples' hearts for stuff like clover?
That kind of thing.

Besides, I appreciate the two pages of amusing replies in this thread. You should look at them. They're fun.

forrestcupp
May 16th, 2012, 09:19 PM
And must every empty field be grass, or is there room in peoples' hearts for stuff like clover?
That kind of thing.

Well, the problem is that most empty fields when left on their own will end up growing grassy weeds. It takes a lot more work to have land that isn't grass than it does to have grassy lands.

But I do have a friend who keeps bee hives, and he has a clover field for that purpose.