Second Nature: A Gardener's Education. The grass-rant part (though he is ultimately a graceful, measured writer) is nicely summed up in his shorter article, "Why Mow? The Case Against Lawns."The idea that the perfect lawn might be a questionable pursuit first came to me upon reading Michael Pollan’s
Lawn–from launde, (glade), in old French–was originally just a grassy clearing between forest trees that was generally kept low by grazing animals. In Tudor England it became a darling of the wealthy and a status symbol. These lawns of meadow grasses and herbs such as chamomile needed an awful lot of sheep, or laborers with scythes, to deliver the evenly shorn velvety field of green that pleased the gentry. Versailles had its tapis vert, too. So, it evolved.
Thank you Edwin for bringing grass to the masses!
If you like plants, then it is really a no-brainer to start encroaching on your turf area with interesting alternatives. If you don’t like 'em, the no-grass benefits of less water, chemicals, time and money spent are the big motivators. And guess what? Many cities will pay you to re-think your grass requirements! Check with your local utility or municipality for grants and rebates.