The evolution of the lawn through history
A beautiful lawn is part of what most consider to be the American dream. Every homeowner wants their house to be surrounded by a healthy, green lawn – but this trend may not be as old as you imagine. Lawns have evolved constantly throughout history, and even many of today’s hottest lawn trends were totally unheard of not so long ago. If you’re interested in the evolution of lawns through history, here are some quick facts:
The earliest lawns
It is believed that the Europeans were the first to build and maintain lawns that are covered in lush grass and beautiful ornamentals. This does not come as a surprise when you consider the moderate climates that most of Europe experiences, conditions under which grass is capable of surviving all year long. Castles throughout England and France were some of the first places to sport expansive green lawns and, once they realized how easy it was to grow and maintain, this trend began to spread throughout the continent.
By the 17th century lush lawns were found not just outside of castles, but also in front of the homes of the wealthiest members of society. Grass was not always used, and it was not uncommon to see lawns that were made entirely of quick spreading herbs like thyme and chamomile. The most expensive part of having a lawn during this time was the maintenance, without a tool that resembled the modern lawn mower it was necessary to hire workers to trim the lawn by hand.
Lawns in the 19th and 20th centuries
The industrial revolution was responsible for lawns becoming common outside of the wealthiest members of European society. With new inventions that would eventually become the lawn mower that we know today, it became both easy and affordable for a homeowner to plant and maintain grass on their own. This didn’t just affect homeowners, it also drastically changed the landscape of the sports world.
With grass being so easy to maintain, many sports were created that made use of this forgiving turf cover. Golf and lawn bowling were two of the most popular sports to emerge during this time. Golf became so popular, that by 1904 it had become an officially recognized Olympic sport with more than 70 players from the United States alone.
Modern lawn trends
Today, many lawn trends have become extremely popular. Advanced landscaping techniques like edging and decorative plants (or ornamentals) have become so common that they can even be spotted in some of America’s most poverty-stricken areas. The rise of parks was a big factor in more and more homeowners wanting a beautiful lawn outside of their own home. It may seem strange, but parks are a relatively new idea. They first started popping up in the mid-19th century in an attempt to bring beauty to areas that were now highly industrialized, but today parks are a staple of nearly every neighborhood.
Parks have been embraced by all sorts of people such as families, nature enthusiasts, public schools and just about everyone in between. Parks are even a staple of many large corporate campuses across the country, as the calming effect of being surrounded by nature’s beauty cannot be argued. The rapid spread of parks helped to reduce the cost of the tools required for maintaining a healthy lawn, and today consumer-level versions of all of these items can be rented or purchased for very little money. It has been estimated that the lawn care industry brings in more than 40 billion dollars each year. This number may seem staggering, but when you consider the number of beautiful lawns across the country it becomes much easier to fathom.