Lawn Blog

How the Lawn Shaped the American Dream

Maintence1The front lawn is as much a fixture of modern America as the fourth of July, adorning homes across the nation and providing each homeowner the larger spaces available to those residing outside of urbanized areas. Lawns serve as a place to gather, to put love and maintenance, to enjoy some open space, and, of course, to show off. The tradition of maintaining good looking lawns dates back to the country’s English roots.

It was the English aristocracy that first had lawns installed on the grounds of their manor homes. The lawn, during the late 17th and 18th centuries, was a rare privilege. Because there was no machine specifically for the cutting of grass, only those who had the means to hire enough staff to maintain a lawn with a scythe and shears had lawns. Having a nicely maintained lawn was, among many others, an important status symbol for the English aristocracy.

However, during the middle 1800s, the lawnmower was invented. The original lawnmower was heavy, built out of cast iron it was very difficult to maneuver and also tended to leave the blades spinning uselessly above the grass it should have been cutting. Within about 10 years though, a more streamlined steel-framed device had been invented – a development that coincided with the end of the American civil war.

As people returned to their lives and their homes, the wealthy started to leave the cities and move to suburbs. These individuals and families, members of the unofficial American ‘aristocracy,’ now had the opportunity to create spaces that showed status, but also showed a vision of an American future where all people could strive for and actually have their own lawn in the suburbs.

With the advent of the 40 hour work week in 1938, and thanks to the labor movement’s influence on upward trending wages, more people were joining the new ‘middle class.’ They were purchasing homes that included a lawn, because they now how the time and money to maintain it. During the second world war, Americans were encouraged to keep up their lawns as a show of strength, moral character and to help relieve of the stress of wartime.

Today, some municipalities and home owners associations have standards on how well-maintained a yard must be to keep up high standards and property values. While other features are being adopted as well when it comes to landscaping today, the lawn serves as the foundation for the appearance of many homes and communities.

1280px-Robomow 110 City 2012-06-05While, at its most basic, the lawn is of course just grass, the lawn is also a symbol of the middle class in America. Beyond all else, the well-maintained lawn demonstrated upward mobility, the hope for a better future and advantages Americans had because of the large spaces available to suburbanites. Today, many who own homes still take great pride in keeping their lawns and landscaping in top shape (some even go for mower-bots like the one at the right here). It doesn’t just look nice, frankly, it’s just the American way.

Five Ways to Be Free of Snow

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Removing snow from the driveway of your home or business is absolutely essential to keeping it safe. It is also one of the more hazardous household activities we undertake during the year – be it from falling, injuring our backs, or even heart attack.

It doesn’t have to be so bad though, these simple tips will help keep your Overland Park home free of the white stuff, and keep your back in tip-top shape. Don’t get bogged down by snow and ice, stick to these tips!

  • Shovel often – It’s much more fun to hide out inside with a hot beverage, but getting the snow out of the driveway before it becomes feet deep is the better option in the long run. It will be easier to clear each time you shovel, plus it won’t freeze to the concrete also making your job easier.
  • Don’t shovel too often – Like all strenuous physical activity, shoveling is hard work. Don’t shovel more often than you can handle, take breaks and drink fluids. You can actually get overheated relatively quickly while shoveling when you’re wearing warm clothes, so taking breaks is the best way to keep your body regulated appropriately.
  • Careful with Chemicals – Using snow and ice melt are tempting options that require less work than constant shoveling. Watch out for salt and melting agents though, as they tend to damage plants and shrubs by sapping water from their roots. Calcium chloride is an alternative, or give this alternative method a try!
  • Snow Removal Equipment is More than A Shovel – When there’s a fair amount of snow, remember that there is more equipment available than just a shovel! One of the best options is a snow thrower, but purchasing one of these is expensive and, especially in the Kansas City area, not always necessary. Consider getting in touch with us for help with snow removal that’s just too much for you and a shovel!
  • Careful Around Your Plants – Watch out for your plants! Burying them in snow can suffocate them and remember that they’re going to be more brittle during the winter. If you don’t take care of them in winter, they won’t be there come spring! Gently brush limbs that seem to be bearing too much wait from snow. Wait for ice to melt naturally.

Four Winter Gardening Tips

 

birchbed2All the bright color may be gone for the season, but that doesn’t mean you have to love your yard any less! While the wintertime is not the ideal time of year for working in the garden, there are a handful of considerations that make your landscape so much more appealing even in what sometimes feels like the temporary tundra of Olathe midwest.


1. Evergreens are Always an Answer

Evergreens rock because they work for many landscapes no matter the season. While your other trees may have lost all of their leaves, your evergreen should never lose all of it’s needles. You’ll have color all year, and because evergreens come in a lot of different shades ranging between green, purple, yellow and blue, you can have the color that works best with your landscape design.


2. Berries!

Delicious and colorful, berries are the perfect answer for the winter garden that is found wanting. You may not want to eat all of them, but some plants retains their berries (and leaves) even after they have entered their dormant state. Berries can serve as the focal point of your outdoor winter display (especially in combination with holiday lighting) while providing some much needed food for birds and other small animals during the cold weather. 


3. Hard(scape) Thinking

Winter really is one of the best times to critically assess your landscape. You might think you need a plant in summer, but come winter, sometimes the need for a hardscape object becomes much more obvious. Pay attention to where your design is missing focal points or interesting objects. Sculptures or arbors are simple additions that can make a big difference. With some snow or ice these types of garden additions can become even more interesting.


4. Tis’ the Season to Shop

Just because the garden section at your local big box store is MIA for the winter doesn’t mean your local garden shop is closed. Many garden stores offer deep discounts during this season to get shoppers in the door. Drop by your local garden store to see what they have going on and pick up on any winter deals before prices go back up in the springtime.

Overland Park Lawn Care for Fall

As we move into fall remember that your grass is still growing! Grass doesn’t stop growing until freezing temperatures cause it to become dormant.

That said, if you havne’t started already, it’s time to prepare for the upcoming winter season. There are a few simple tips that will help you maintain a healthy lawn for the rest of the fall season and prepare it for the upcoming months of dormancy. By taking care of your Overland Park lawn care needs in the fall, you can be sure that it will start growing earlier and more healthfully come springtime.

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