Say YES to Landscaping, Not Lawnscaping

Say YES to Landscaping, Not Lawnscaping

“Mow, mow, mow your lawn every single week; wastefully, wastefully, wastefully, our planet has a leak.”

The generalized preoccupation/ obsession with creating and maintaining a “healthy” lawn, is taking a toll on Mother Earth. She needs an epidural deeper than the lawns we continue to build.  Even if you don’t believe in climate change, here are the facts.  Did you know that it takes approximately 235 trillion gallons of water worldwide to maintain lawns and golf courses in a single year?  In the US alone, gas- powered mowers and leaf blowers (we MUST keep the green monolithic at all times after all), consumes an average of 20  gallons of fuel and produce 89 pounds of carbon and 23 pounds of pollutants per year per household. And how do we measure noise pollution? The average lawn uses 5 pounds of fertilizer some of which flows into our waterways and is harmful to that ecosystem. Lawns also account for more than 80,000 accidents, and finally and here’s the kicker, lawns and turf produce zero ecologic benefit! (the “dreaded” clover that’s Rouded-Up, notwithstanding)

Here’s the results of our planetary check-up: the soil is outta whack. There’s too little overall biodiversity in the ways we are currently practicing horticulture. The larger the number of species living in balance, the more plant/animal connections fostered and the healthier the soil is to support the lifeblood of our planet: photosynthesis. Here’s a simple large-scale solution. I would like to invite all those owning a lawn to consider removing up to one quarter of the existing lawnscape you have, and LANDSCAPE it with something else. Yes- Have room for the children to play!!! Put up a croquet court!! Make space for snow angels and leaf forts, and discrete compost piles, AND save our planet. If 10 million households replace just 200 square feet (10ft x 20 ft) of lawn with alternatives, that would be 460 acres of potential habitat restoration and soil rebuilding. It’s a start.

Here are some ideas for lawn replacement that will create healthier, lovelier ecologies, reduce the number of resources necessary, and thereby ultimately save you time and money:

  • Grow a moss garden,
  • Replace with native grasses -they come in all shapes colors and sizes, Contact your local native plant agency for more information.
  • Replace with red or white clover seed. -They puts nitrogen back into the soil, increases pollination, and needs infrequent mowing
  • A low-mow or no-mow grassy meadow
  • Groundcovers- either ornamental or native (preferred) Ask your local nursery for guidance.
  • Plant a small understory native tree
  • Plant a chamomile lawn
  • And believe it or not, ASTRO TURF is better for Mother Earth than lawn grass! It has come a long way in improving the realistic qualities. There is no ecological benefit but no fertilizers or water either.

The choice is ours. Help one another heal the earth or continue to do what we have done the last 75 years and experience greater  challenges in environmental and personal health.

For more information about lawn replacement, please contact Trey Gardens: or visit the website:

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