Nobody is certain when the lawn and garden first became a mainstay of human living habits. It probably came into being when the areas near the dwelling became less about protection and agriculture and more about symbolism and the dweller’s identity.
Traditionally lawn is an area of recreational or amenity land planted with grass, and sometimes clover and other plants, which are maintained at a low, even height. The garden can be defined as a place where fruits, vegetables and trees grow although in Japan there are some forms of lawn & garden that are made from sand and boulders.
For centuries lawns and gardens have been a standard feature of ornamental private and public gardens. Both lawns & gardens have a more aesthetic then they used to with the focus being on the cultivation of the foliage and greenery to express one’s sense of design.
Traditionally lawns and gardens have been used as vehicles within which to appeal to the Gods for good luck. One example of this is the Chinese water gardens that were constructed to attract good energy to a home. Another is the Japanese Shinto garden, which also required that the lawn & garden be constructed in a way that harmonized with the spirits of nature so that its tender would experience good fortune. Nowadays, the lawn of these gardens usually be mowed carefully with a push reel mower.
Lawns are also groomed and used for recreational uses, such as baseball and soccer fields. The act as the playing surface for many outdoor sports thus reducing the erosion of the ground as well as supplying a soft landing for people playing rough sports.
As well as being a feature that usually carpets the front yard of a typical home, lawns are also a common feature of public parks and other spaces. Lawns actually cover a massive area in the United States. In a recent NASA-sponsored study, it was estimated that the area covered by lawns in the United States to be about 128,000 square kilometers (nearly 32 million acres) making it the largest irrigated crop in the country. This means that watering our lawns in the United States takes up three times as much water as watering corn crops.
Lawn care is also big business in North America. Maintenance, construction and management of lawns of various kinds are the focus of much of the modern horticulture industry. The lawn itself has also become a bit of exotica with various types of grass being bred as carpets for the front yard. Popular types of lawn grass include Zoysia grasses, Bermuda grasses, St. Augustine grasses, Bahia grass, Centipede grass and Carpet grass, all of them need to be maitained periodically with a good self-propelled lawn mower.
Of course, if you look at any lawn & garden magazine it is immediately evident that the latest trend in front yard design is not to have a lawn at all but rather a carpet of wild flowering plants and grasses that are friendlier to birds and butterflies.