A well-groomed lawn is the hallmark of the suburban context. Although familiar, comforting, and healthy at first glance, most individually owned and maintained lawns are actually ecological deserts that have little resemblance to the native local landscape.

Suburban green space, despite providing very few of the ecological services associated with the natural habitat that it replaces, is much more resource intensive to maintain than naturally occurring flora. Domestic irrigation exacerbates water scarcity in many regions, and the overuse of chemical fertilizers and pesticides is a primary cause of declining water quality in most impaired watersheds. Heightened awareness of the environmental cost of maintaining the typical suburban lawn has given rise to the growing proliferation of organic lawn and garden practitioners and products. Xeriscaping—the use of locally ...

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