For the Love of Lawns
Do you know what my husband was most excited about when we bought our first home? Picking out a lawn mower. That’s how you know you have crossed over into adulthood, when you are pumped about a “toy” which just helps complete chores. The lawn mower wasn’t just a “first time home buyer thing”; when we bought a home that sits on a full acre he started looking at riding mowers. There is no denying it, we love our lawns.
Scientific American points out in their article, The American Obsession with Lawns, that, “lawns are the most grown crop in the US—and they’re not one that anyone can eat; their primary purpose is to make us look and feel good about ourselves.” But how did we, as Americans, get to this point? Did you know that the grass we have today in our lawns is not even native to North America? The article goes onto tell us that the early European colonists in America found annual grasses (think: broom straw and rye) instead of pasture grasses but the livestock brought in by the settlers soon finished off the native grass, causing some to die from starvation and others to eating poisonous plants in desperation. These settlers out of necessity to keep their livestock alive, sent for seeds from Europe to then grow grass to nourish their animals- thus leading to the spread of grasses across America.
Just because grass, as we know it, is now growing in America doesn’t mean that people began manicuring their lawn. This trend started in Europe; the palace of Versailles installed a “tapis vert” (green carpet). George Washington hired a gardener to achieve the same look, giving wealthy Americas something to copy and aspire to. Over time, especially after the civil war, the upper-class families could invest time and resources into establishing lawns. It became an identifier of wealth and prosperity. To this day, these themes are reflected in our love of lawns—Homeowner Associations have requirements on maintaining lawns and your neighbor will likely give you the “side eye” if your lawn starts to be overtaken by dandelions.
There is no denying it, Americans love their lawns! It has become a part of the American dream, owning a home and caring for a lawn! To find out how to get financing for your own lawn…err… home to care for, give the mortgage bankers at Stockton Mortgage a call. Find the one closest to you by visiting our website;