Now admittedly, for a lot of people the word “lawn” doesn’t conjure up that much excitement.
You hear the word “lawn” and you imagine a rectangular space filled with grass, and then you wonder why you put so much effort into imagining something that, basically, is a rectangle filled with grass.
But across the world there are others who have dared to dream bigger than that.
There are lawns that stand out not just because they’re marvellously designed, but because of the famous feet that have walked across them (or, often, been told not to walk across). So here, for your pleasure, are five of the world’s greatest lawns:
Pembroke College’s bowling green is not, as widely touted, the oldest bowling green in Europe, although it’s still pretty ancient.
It’s old enough, for example, to have a “rub” running down the centre of it, a feature of the older version of bowls that Hamlet referred to in his famous “To be or not to be… ay, there’s the rub,” speech.
Only Fellows of the college are permitted to actually play on the green, using wooden bowls that date back to the 18th century. Many a student will report getting shouted at if they even think about walking across it.
The Garden of Cosmic Speculation
The Garden of Cosmic Speculation takes up 30 acres of Scottish countryside and is the brainchild of landscape architect and theorist Charles Jencks. All the garden’s features, including its lawns, are designed around ideas found in science and mathematics, such as black holes and fractals.
Gardens are a great place to think, but few will make you think this much!
White House Lawns
The sheep were a cost cutting exercise by the White House, the idea being that with sheep roaming the grounds they wouldn’t have to spend money on lawnmowers. It turned out they were also able to raise $52,823 for the Red Cross by selling the sheep’s wool.
Of course, not all the greatest lawns are the products of famous architects or historical landmarks.
Sometimes just one person with a lawnmower can create a masterpiece. Tania Ledge, from Croydon, wanted her lawn to have a little extra something. She employed 3D artist Chris Naylor to mow the face of Mona Lisa into her lawn.
Sadly, within a few weeks the artwork disappeared as the grass grew, but for Mrs Ledger that was part of the appeal, saying “It’s like a hair cut – if you don’t like it you can grow it out and you can try out as many new looks as you like.”
Brian Eno Speaker Flowers
Who says a lawn has to be outdoors? This fantastic art installation at Marlborough House proves such old fashioned ideas wrong (even though, yes, we admit, it uses astro turf so is technically cheating).
What’s better than sitting in the grass listening to some nice music? Doing the exact same thing indoors away from the worst excesses of the weather!
Mark Bartram is Managing Director of Lawnmowers Direct.