The whir of a lawnmower is a familiar sound that permeates the summer air. The sight of a turfgrass lawn is the norm in today’s society. People spend hundreds of dollars to keep their lawns looking lush and green, but it was not always that way.
Protection and Practicality
The first literature on lawns appears in the 12th century, where low-growing perennial grasses were planted around villages and castles because they offered a clear view of approaching enemies. They would be kept low by grazing animals or cutting with a scythe. By the late 12th and early 13th centuries, lawns were found to be useful for some sports such as early forms of cricket.
Lawns as A Status Symbol
By the 15th century, ornamental lawns in public parks and among wealthier citizens were popular. The elite used their well-groomed lawns as part of formal gardens by the 16th century. Lawns showed that you had the money to devote land to entertainment, rather than practical matters such as raising food. They separated the grasses for grazing from the manicured grasses grown around their homes. Soccer became a popular sport played on public greens. Golf played on turfgrass developed in Scotland at this time. Immigrants to America brought lawn culture with them.
The First Lawn Technology
The first mechanical lawn mower was invented by Edwin Beard Budding in 1830. This invention allowed the expansion of lawns and public parks. It also allowed less affluent people to have mowed lawns. However, mass production of lawn mowers did not occur until the 1890s. They were then available to the general public at an affordable price. This changed the status of the grass from an amenity of the elite to common practice among the masses.
The Rise of Suburbanism
In 1952, Levittown in New Jersey was the first community that established lawns as part of the home sale package. The suburban home with a manicured lawn became embedded into the American Dream along with its cookie-cutter houses, white picket fences, and regulations about lawn maintenance and appearance. During the 1950s companies worked to develop cultivars of grasses that were dense, had better uniformity, and that were pest resistant.
The lawn has become a part of the American landscape, and for businesses, it has become an important part of their image. Commercial landscaping services are available year-round to make sure that your business makes a good first impression.