Everything Talks: Lawns

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What did the green lawn say to the brown lawn during a historic drought?

Photo by Kevin Wong via Flickr

“Brown Is Beautiful” 

Last July a drought-conscious couple in Glendora who virtuously turned off their lawn sprinklers received a letter from the city’s code enforcement unit warning them to turn their grass green again or face $100 — 500 in fines and possible criminal action. They were told that despite the need to conserve H20, “we wish to remind you that limited watering is still required to keep landscaping looking healthy and green.”

Well, last month, Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill which endeavors to prevent this kind of absurdity: Assembly Bill 2104 prevents homeowner associations from penalizing drought-conscious residents for not maintaining well-watered lawns. 

Furthermore, “brown is beautiful,” declared the bill’s author San Diego Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, referring to lawns, not the governor.

Perhaps the word will reach the councilmen of Riverside who have been exposed for their egregious personal water consumption (1 million gallons per year for Councilman Mike Soubirous) while demanding regular citizens cut back.

But the news somehow did not reach a green lawn in Glendora, as we learn from Everything Talks, a series created for DnA by comedy writer Tom Saunders, in which we hear about what our objects really think.

Listen here to a lush grassy lawn, a thirsty brown one and a xeriscaped yard vie for relevance as homeowners adjust to a changing landscape in drought-stricken California. Performed by Kristen Hansen (green lawn), Caroline Chamberlain (brown lawn) and Tom Saunders (xeriscaped yard).

Turns out some of those Riverside councilmen were clueless about alternatives to water-guzzling lawns. “Do I have to sell my house to set that example, or do I have to just abolish all my shrubs?” asked councilman Soubirous. (See LA Times’ Carolina Miranda‘s reaction on Twitter below)

They could also learn from ET’s Xeriscaped Yard who describes himself as “landscaped with drought-resistant plants, artfully arranged with decorative pebbles, decomposed granite and flagstones.” 

In the event you are interested in creating a beautiful, non-watered lawn, check out DnA’s conversation with landscape designer Judy Kameon.

For more on Southland mixed messaging with regard to water consumption, check out this segment on the debate surrounding LA’s recreational water use, Slide The City and whether it should be approved (it wasn’t.)