With Thanksgiving approaching rapidly, it’s a good time to talk about how lawn care in Plymouth and surrounding neighborhoods has changed over time. Obviously, in the very first days of colonization, settlers had a lot more to worry about than maintaining a lovely front yard. Providing food was priority number one, as was providing land for cows and sheep. However, the Puritans came from a land with a great gardening tradition: they were well acquainted with the idea of formal European gardens and vast, manicured lawns. Once life got a little less perilous for the Plymouth colonists, many New World homeowners sought to recreate some of that Old World look for themselves.
Time passed. Lawn care in Plymouth changed as our lifestyles altered. The amount of land devoted to raising crops and livestock decreased as the number of houses increased. Gardens contained a mix of treasured, carefully cultivated European plants as well as hardier native varieties. During World War Two, the region was filled with Victory Gardens, including the famous one at Fenway Park.
There came a time when scientific advances led homeowners to use some incredibly harsh chemicals for weed and pest control. We didn’t know at the time how toxic some of these chemicals were. However, once the impact became known, it was gardeners in Plymouth and the surrounding community who were responsible for spearheading change in the opposite direction. Today, Boston and Western MA are committed by and large to organic lawn care, choosing green, chemical free options for weed and pest control.