Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Lawn: a social history

The lawn has traditionally been an important feature of garden in Australia although the recent drought may have changed our attitude to and expectations of the perfect lawn, especially in the summer where brown lawns are now the norm in Victoria.

Peter Macinnes examines the history and importance of lawns in many parts of the world but particularly in the United Kingdom, USA and Australia. Prior to the invention of the lawnmower in the early 1800s shortening patches of grass was possible by grazing animals in the required area or by using scythes. The lawnmower made it possible to have a more even surface of grass coverage. Lawns originally signified status and wealth but eventually as the design of lawnmowers improved and the machines became affordable lawns were available in the gardens of the general populace. The development of lawns also contributed to the development of many sports, athletics, tennis, lawn bowls, croquet and of course, cricket. The rise of public gardens contribute to the environment of our cities. Allusions to lawns in literature are also provided in this illustrated treatise on the lawn.

No comments: