For my tastes, this small section of park with pine trees, natural mulch, and wildflowers is more beautiful than a carefully manicured lawn with a grass monoculture.

There is an idea in American popular culture that the exterior of a home should be a neat, orderly, and uniform exhibit. The lawn must have a monoculture area of grass, typically of a single species that has been carefully bred by professionals. It's anachronistic.

We now know that monocultures are somewhat antithetical to a balanced ecosystem. They also tend to require chemicals to maintain. I've never thought that small flowering plants in a lawn were out of place. Especially not if they are native species. They beautify the lawn.

When I lived in Georgia my lawn was full of small flowers every spring. I thought it was beautiful. Wildflowers are not "weeds." This outraged my boomer parents and provoked much eye rolling. The young, stupid son didn't know how to maintain a proper lawn. Fortunately that mentality is dying out. Someday we will have seen the last of the monoculture lawn.

Where I live, we have mandatory gravel desert-scaping. Unfortunately the HOA rules were written by a bunch of boomers over a decade ago, so they still want everything to be completely neat and uniform. Of course, this is also tainted by the influence of investment buyers (house flippers) who want the neighborhood uniform because they think it will drive up property values and make it easier to sell. I don't know if that is true about value but it's morally untrue either way. Neighborhoods are for living, not for business ventures.

Uniformity is obsolete. It's one of those ideas whose time has come and gone, only the people holding the ideas haven't accepted it yet. They will either die out or live to see it change against their will.


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