(picture: William Schnetz veggie planting day in Encinitas school)
by Robert Morrow, Estimator at Schnetz Landscape
I remember a time when green lawns were important to our culture here in Southern California. Growing up in this climate before the dominance of video games and the internet meant we were always outside doing something. And a great deal of that time was spent on the green lawns that dominated the landscape of my childhood.
Today as an adult and father I drive up the suburban streets of my neighborhood and others and I see something entirely different. I don’t see the neighborhood children or even my own children outside on the lawns running and playing. I don’t see well maintained green lush lawns anymore either, which kind of looks sad in a way, almost like a modern day ghost town. What I’m starting to see now is more earthen material like rock and decomposed granite and drought tolerant plant material like succulents, cactus and native plants.
Whether we like it or not, the dawn of a new era is upon us. Homeowners are getting rid of their lawns and renovating with a more drought tolerant landscape. I think people are fed up with their brown lawns, a product of water restrictions. They want landscapes that will enhance their home and not mirror our water restrictions and drought conditions. I think with everyone spending the majority of their time indoors there is no need for a lawn, at least as a place for children to play.
I miss the green lawns, and the memory of my childhood will always be framed with that lush green color of those well maintained lawns. But I am also excited about our future with new earth-friendly solutions for showcasing our homes and showing that there is life inside and outside those walls. Succulents and cactus offer a wide array of colors, shapes, and sizes for us to choose from. And with the added excitement of low maintenance, many homeowners who aren’t horticulturists can feel adequate in keeping their landscapes thriving.
Many of us are afraid of change and forget that it is a big part of our lives, especially today when our society is changing at a rate that has never been seen before. The time to think about our landscape differently is here and starting to gain momentum throughout our neighborhoods. The time to use our knowledge and understanding of our planet to enhance our living is long overdue. So get out there and do your part and embrace change. Embrace our time. Embrace life…
For more information, check out Bill Schnetz’s book Life After Lawns on Amazon.