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A lawn is an area of land planted with grass, and sometimes clover and other plants. Lawns are cut to a low, even height using a lawnmower. Lawns are used for aesthetic (for their beauty) and recreational purposes. Other words used to describe them are turf, pitch, field or green may be used, depending on the sport and the continent. They are often found around buildings, making them a type of yard.
Lawns are generally composed only of grass species, subject to weed and pest control, maintained in green colour, and are regularly maintained to ensure an acceptable length. Lawns are used around, apartments, houses, commercial buildings and offices. Approximately 80% of all homes in the United States have grass lawns. This has resulted in a $40 billion per year industry, with American grass lawns using more water than is used to grow all the wheat and corn in the United States. In that sense, by water consumption, grass is the United States’ leading “crop” by far, with the Environmental Protection Agency estimating that about 1/3 of all public water is used to water grass, with that number rising as high as 70% in some of the more dry regions of the United States.
The earliest mention of lawns comes from France during the 1500s. Lawns (as opposed to fields) found their way to England in the 1700s. One acre (0.4 hectare) of lawn would take three gardeners all day to mow using a tool called a scythe. Two centuries later, one person with a lawnmower could do it in an afternoon.
In the 16th Century Renaissance, lawns were deliberately cultivated by the wealthy in both France and England, though they were more likely planted with chamomile or thyme than with grass. Both of these ground covers make excellent alternatives to grass in modern lawns.
Closely shorn grass lawns first emerged in 17th century England at the homes of large, wealthy landowners. While sheep were still grazed on many such park-lands, landowners increasingly depended on human labor to tend the grass closest to their homes. Only the rich could afford to hire the many hands needed to scythe and weed the grass, so a lawn was a mark of wealth and status.
Lawns around the world
In many parts of the United States lawn care is an important part of home maintenance. a poorly kept up lawn can hurt the value of a home. Families do many things on their lawn. Neighborhood cookouts, birthday parties and outdoor games are just some of the uses.
World Famous Lawns include:
- One of the most famous lawns in France surrounds the Eiffel Tower. It is part of the Champ de Mars.
- The south lawn of the White House is a world famous lawn in Washington, D.C..
- The greens of Wimbledon, London where the Wimbledon Championships are played is the only major tennis tournament played on a grass court.
- Shinjuku Gyoen in Tokyo has large areas of lawns and gardens. It has some 1,500 cherry trees.
- "How to control pests in your lawn". https://www.pest-control-services.org.uk/.
- "Basics of Lawn Maintenance". https://www.artificialpitchmaintenance.co.uk/.
- "The American Obsession with Lawns". https://www.synthetic-grass-installation.co.uk/.
- Paul Robbins, Lawn People: How Grasses, Weeds, and Chemicals Make Us Who We Are (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2007), pp. 19–21
- Chris Peterson, Black & Decker The Complete Guide to a Better Lawn: How to Plant, Maintain (Minneapolis, MN: Creative Publishing International, 2011), p. 7
- "World Famous Lawns; Greenery from Around the Globe". Weed Man. 2014. http://weedmanusa.com/news/world-famous-lawns.html. Retrieved 6 July 2014.
- Stephen Phelan (30 November, 2011). Best Tokyo parks -- our pick of the top spots.