Contra Culture Mag

Why More Residents Are Leaving Lawns Behind

To have a tidy and verdant space outside a home was once a source of pride. These neat lawns demonstrated dedication and care, showcasing that residents took pride in the garden enough to curate a regimented green space. Alongside such lawns, flowerbeds were generally found, having their own regiment while offering a degree of colour to help balance the wash of green from grass.

In recent years, however, and with a new generation of homeowners, the garden lawn has begun to not only fall out of fashion but also be criticised. No longer are neatness and uniformity seen with respect, certainly not among the younger generation, and are, instead, associated with ecological monocultures.

Grass, it is noted, offers very little in the way of support for local wildlife. There is no diversity of growth, such as found in wildflower meadows, that offers an abundance of food and shelter for pollinators. There is also the absence of a creative aesthetic that generations are moving away from. Instead, much like how maximalist interior designs are taking over from minimalist aesthetics, residents are seeking to express themselves through their outdoor spaces.

Other trends, such as those associated with cottagecore and social media microcultures, are prompting a shift toward stylised nature. Log cabins are becoming assets frequently found outside of homes, as are insect hotels and bird baths, all of which fits the pop culture interest in quaint and rural spaces.

Another significant motivator for both a more complex garden space and one that actively rejects the traditional lawn is sustainability. The cutting of grass has, in recent years, become a source of contention among neighbourhoods, with residents being divided in local groups about whether it is appropriate to cut grassy areas or to let them prosper. Some are comfortable embracing wild designs, knowing the important role they play in the environment and how they have come to symbolise an acceptance of nature, while other more traditional individuals are seeking to preserve so-called tidiness, wanting to minimise the risk associated with blindspots and tics.

Other factors are, according to residents, important too. With property costs rising, residents are seeking to make as much use out of their living space as possible. Lawns offer very little in the way of utility and have largely been enjoyed for their aesthetic value. Now, motivated by a return on investment, residents are looking to grow their own foods, create outdoor dining areas, and even establish external office spaces. Each of these ideas leads to a greater deal of utility when it comes to an outdoor space while simultaneously boosting property value.

As such, even those who might prefer a lawn space for its neat visual benefit are beginning to allow wild areas to develop, merging the two landscapes. This could be because they see the benefits of both sides or, as a new generation of homeowners appears, it could be that they are seeing the tide turn in favour of natural garden aesthetics and hope to appeal to a new market.

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