It also serves more practical needs. Jim Folsom, who is the director of the Huntington Botanical Gardens in San Marino says, "It stablizes the soil and keeps down dust and mud. It's cooling in the summer. You want to walk on it, barbecue near it, cartwheel over it..."
The solution perhaps lies somewhere in the middle. Folsom is quotes ad saying "Maybe we ought to be going for a new aesthetic,... Maybe you go to something that's more layered." Many cities in Southern California are already mandating the amount of lawn turf, but also encouraging a mix of natives with gravel and rocks. As we've pointed out in a recent post, native and more drought resistant aren't just cactus and succulents. There are a variety of desert plants and wildflowers that can still provide "greenery".
The article also touches on alternative irrigation systems and organic lawn care as other beneficial ways to lessen water consumption.
Check out the entire article here.
Image by Stefano Paltera/for The Times