I love grass - bamboos, bents, blues, natives, creeping, clumping, climbing the list goes on. I love using them as tools in the landscape, employing their specific characteristics in the garden, the playing field and in the wild. But there is a point where the use of grass seems redundant. Where there are more inputs required to maintain the grass than what the function of the grass in-turn produces. Case in point, the Microlawn. These attempts to deliver beautification and utility to the urban landscape seem ass-backwards to me.
I recently came across a photo-blog called Microlawns.tumblr.com that seems to share my view. Curious to learn more I contacted the creator David Yoon to learn where the motivation for his blog came from:
Microlawns started because I was doing a lot of walking to work...pretty rare for a guy living LA. I guess walking gave me lots of time to notice all the little details you miss when driving, so I started carrying a camera and snapping photos of minutiae: flowers, sidewalk graffiti, and then all these weird little leftover lawn patches. As oddball remainders of property demarcation they remind me of vestigial railroad scar tissue, slashing out awkwardly unusable parcels of land across the city. Also they're inherently absurd, because you know it's someone's job to tend to them—mowing, watering and edge trimming these purely symbolic bits of landscaping. I figured they're mysterious and meaningless anyway, so why not start creating silly origin mythologies around them? Never thought it'd get picked up by the likes of Huffington Post, Metafilter or Reddit, but that's the Internet for you I guess.
David has allowed me to repost some of his photos here, but to see a larger collection of true ridiculousness in action go to his blog. If you'd like to contribute join the Flickr Group.