There are people who don't give a damn about the environment (or don't believe the environmentalists) and just want a perfect lawn. "I don't want those weeds -- that's the bottom line," says a woman who doses her garden with herbicides three times a year and doesn't like the trend of neighbours telling her what she can do on her own property. The alternative, going organic is a lot of work and it is not perfect: "We used to accept a few weeds," says Jay Feldman, director of Beyond Pesticides, a nonprofit group that runs the National Coalition for Pesticide-Free Lawns. Now, uniform swaths of green, weedless grass are the standard. The rise of pesticides, says Mr. Feldman, "redefined our aesthetics."
Wall Street Journal reporter Gwendolyn Bounds spent the last year converting to organic gardening and ended up with the greenest, lushest lawn on her block. (instructions below) She describes the conflicts across the nation: "As the organic lawn movement grows, so are tensions in some communities. The latest front is over whether lawn-care methods are the horticultural equivalent of secondhand smoke: a choice that affects the whole community." ::Wall Street Journal