It’s official: Typical L.A. garden goes unused

Posted on | July 6, 2012 | 1 Comment

It’s easy to take the obvious for granted until a smart group of academics points it out to us. This is the case with “Life at Home in the Twenty-First Century,” a UCLA study looking at how 32 Los Angeles-area families use their homes. This fascinating press release enumerates the findings, which include the astonishing line, “Even in a region with clement year-round weather, the families hardly used their yards, and this was the case even among those who had invested in outdoor improvements and furnishings.”

Given that water suppliers estimate that roughly half of household water use in Southern California cities takes place outdoors, presumably it is automated spigots and sprinklers on timers greening the spaces trafficked most heavily by pool cleaners and mow-and-blow teams.

To hear several of the study authors as well as a subject on today’s Larry Mantle Show, click here.


One Response to “It’s official: Typical L.A. garden goes unused”

  1. Chris
    July 7th, 2012 @ 6:57 am

    I am not surprised, although among my friends, most of them do use their backyards. It’s the front yards that go unused.

    I think the way to ease people into less water-intensive landscaping is to push first for people to eliminate unused grass. I am all for keeping grass in the parks, of course, and if someone has a backyard that they use, they shouldn’t be made to feel bad about that.

    Most people don’t use their front yards, and beyond that, it’s the grass in the medians of roads, or the grass in the landscaping at the entrance to housing developments that can go. Eliminate grass in the parkways and the grass in front of shopping centers. Our Costco has redone the landscaping to be drought-tolerant natives and it’s beautiful.

    There’s so much useless grass around – that’s what we should get rid of first.

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