A sign of loneliness… talking to AI about lawnmowing…

I have been at home a lot lately and watched movies ansd series such as Death comes to Pemberly and Downton Abbey. And suddenly it just hit me – how on earth do they have such vast, green, manicured lawns? No one is hunkering down cutting them in any scen! There should have been more sheep! What would the grounds have looked like in the 18th and 19th century?

So the following might not have any truth to it!

Downton Abbey/Highclere Castle. Photo: Niklas Halle’n, Agence France-Presse, Getty Images.

So Indecided to ask an AI… This is the result of my conversation, un cut 🤓 if that is what you can call it…

Added som pics because of the long text. And here we go:

How did they cut grass in 18th century?

In the 18th century, grass was typically cut by hand using scythes, sickles, or similar tools. These tools required manual labor, and cutting grass was a time-consuming task done primarily by agricultural workers or landowners themselves.

(It answered notjing about sheep 🐑)

At palaces?

Even at palaces in the 18th century, grass was often cut by hand using tools like scythes or sickles. Laborers or gardeners would have been responsible for maintaining the grounds, including cutting the grass manually. It wasn’t until later centuries that mechanical lawn mowers became more common, making lawn maintenance easier and more efficient.

Was it expensive to have a cut lawn?

In the 18th century, maintaining a well-kept lawn, whether at a palace or elsewhere, could indeed be expensive. Labor costs for manual grass cutting, along with other maintenance tasks like weeding and trimming, added up over time. Additionally, the availability of skilled laborers or gardeners capable of meticulously tending to the grounds could also affect the cost. Overall, maintaining a manicured lawn in the 18th century required both financial resources and labor.

Is there a famous lawn from the 18th century?

One notable example of a well-known lawn from the 18th century is the gardens at Versailles Palace in France. While Versailles is renowned for its elaborate gardens and landscaping, including vast expanses of manicured lawns, the specific methods and tools used for lawn maintenance during that time period would have been similar to those employed elsewhere in Europe, such as manual cutting with scythes or sickles.

How long would it take to cut the lawn of Versaille?

Cutting the lawn at Versailles would have been a monumental task due to the sheer size of the grounds. The gardens of Versailles cover approximately 800 hectares (about 1,976 acres), including numerous lawns, parterres, and other landscaped areas. Given the extensive size and complexity of the gardens, along with the manual tools available in the 18th century, it’s difficult to estimate precisely how long it would have taken to cut the entire lawn. However, it would have likely required a significant amount of time and a large team of skilled laborers or gardeners working together over several days or even weeks to complete the task.

When did it become a thing to cut a lawn?

The concept of cutting and maintaining a lawn for aesthetic purposes emerged during the Renaissance period in Europe, particularly among wealthy landowners and aristocrats. However, it wasn’t until the 17th and 18th centuries that the practice of manicuring lawns became more widespread, especially among the nobility and royalty. With the development of formal gardens and landscape design principles during this time, there was a growing appreciation for neatly trimmed lawns as part of a well-kept estate. This trend continued to evolve over the centuries, eventually becoming more accessible to the broader population with the invention and widespread adoption of mechanical lawn mowers in the 19th century.

Renaissance garden. Garden of the Villa d’Este in Tivoli
Étienne Dupérac. 1560-1575.

Can you tell me more on the history of lawns?

Certainly! The history of lawns is a fascinating journey that spans centuries and continents. Here’s an overview:

  1. Ancient Times: The concept of lawns dates back to ancient civilizations, such as the Egyptians, who cultivated grassy areas around their dwellings. However, these early ”lawns” were more functional than aesthetic, used for grazing animals or as gathering spaces.
  2. Medieval Europe: During the Middle Ages, grassy areas around castles and monasteries were kept short for defensive purposes, allowing guards to spot approaching enemies. These areas were maintained by grazing animals.
  3. Renaissance Gardens: In the Renaissance period, particularly in Italy and France, formal gardens began to emerge, influenced by classical design principles. These gardens featured carefully manicured lawns as part of their overall layout, often surrounded by geometric patterns and ornamental features.
  4. 17th and 18th Centuries: The trend of manicured lawns continued to gain popularity among European nobility and aristocracy during the Baroque and Rococo periods. Palaces and grand estates, such as Versailles in France and Hampton Court Palace in England, showcased extensive lawns as symbols of wealth and status.
  5. 19th Century: The invention of mechanical lawn mowers in the early 19th century revolutionized lawn care, making it more accessible to the middle class. As urbanization increased, the suburban lawn became a symbol of prosperity and suburban life.
  6. 20th Century: In the 20th century, the suburban lawn became a ubiquitous feature of American and Western culture, fueled by post-World War II suburbanization and the rise of the suburban ideal. The lawn became associated with leisure, recreation, and social status.
  7. 21st Century: With growing concerns about environmental sustainability and water conservation, there’s been a shift towards more eco-friendly lawn care practices, such as xeriscaping, using native plants, and reducing chemical use. Additionally, interest in alternative lawn options, like artificial turf or edible gardens, has increased.

Throughout history, the lawn has evolved from a practical necessity to a cultural symbol, reflecting changing attitudes towards nature, status, and leisure.

Can you give a source or book for this information?

Certainly! One comprehensive source on the history of lawns and gardens is ”The Oxford Companion to Gardens” edited by Patrick Taylor. This authoritative reference book covers various aspects of gardens and landscapes throughout history, including the evolution of lawn culture. It provides detailed insights into the development of gardens, landscape design principles, and the cultural significance of lawns across different time periods and regions.

What do you thing lawns will be in the future?

In the future, lawns are likely to continue evolving in response to changing environmental concerns, societal trends, and technological advancements. Here are some potential directions for the future of lawns:

  1. Sustainable Landscaping: With increasing awareness of environmental issues, there may be a greater emphasis on sustainable landscaping practices. This could include reducing water usage through drought-tolerant grasses or native plant landscaping, minimizing chemical inputs, and promoting biodiversity.
  2. Smart Technology Integration: Advancements in technology, such as smart irrigation systems and robotic lawn mowers, may become more prevalent in lawn care. These technologies could help optimize water usage, automate maintenance tasks, and improve overall efficiency.
  3. Alternative Lawn Options: As concerns about water scarcity and chemical use grow, there may be a shift towards alternative lawn options, such as artificial turf, ground cover plants, or even edible gardens. These alternatives offer potential benefits in terms of water conservation, biodiversity, and functionality.
  4. Urban Green Spaces: In densely populated urban areas, there may be a greater emphasis on creating green spaces that serve multiple purposes, such as providing recreational areas, promoting urban agriculture, and improving air quality. Rooftop gardens, vertical gardens, and community green spaces could become more common.
  5. Cultural Shifts: As societal values and lifestyles evolve, the perception of lawns and outdoor spaces may change. There could be a greater focus on outdoor living, community engagement, and connection with nature. This could influence the design and use of lawns in residential, commercial, and public settings.

Overall, the future of lawns is likely to be shaped by a combination of environmental concerns, technological innovations, and cultural shifts towards more sustainable and multifunctional outdoor spaces.

Delhi in India has many Biodiversity parks. https://www.delhibiodiversityparks.org

Robotic lawn movers does not seem good for the environmemt when bees not getting enough to eat… 🐝

You raise a valid point. While robotic lawn mowers can offer convenience and efficiency in lawn maintenance, they may not be the most environmentally friendly option, especially if they contribute to habitat loss or disruption for pollinators like bees. Maintaining a balance between technological innovation and environmental conservation is essential.

One approach to mitigate potential negative impacts on pollinators is to adopt practices that support biodiversity and native plant species in lawn design and management. This could include leaving areas of the lawn unmowed to provide habitat for pollinators, planting pollinator-friendly flowers, and reducing or eliminating the use of pesticides and herbicides.

Additionally, manufacturers of robotic lawn mowers can explore ways to design and manufacture their products with environmental sustainability in mind, such as using eco-friendly materials, minimizing energy consumption, and incorporating features that prioritize pollinator protection.

Ultimately, it’s important to consider the broader ecological implications of lawn care practices and strive to find solutions that balance the needs of humans with those of the natural world.

What plants would you suggest growing for biodiversity?

Growing a diverse range of native plant species is key to promoting biodiversity in your garden or lawn. Here are some suggestions for native plants that can support biodiversity:

  1. Wildflowers: Choose a variety of native wildflowers that bloom at different times throughout the growing season to provide nectar and pollen for pollinators. Examples include purple coneflower, black-eyed Susan, bee balm, milkweed, and goldenrod.
  2. Native Grasses: Incorporate native grasses into your lawn or garden to provide habitat for wildlife and support soil health. Grass species like switchgrass, little bluestem, and prairie dropseed are well-adapted to local climates and provide food and shelter for insects and small mammals.
  3. Shrubs and Trees: Plant native shrubs and trees to create vertical layers of vegetation that offer habitat and food sources for a wide range of wildlife. Examples include elderberry, serviceberry, viburnum, oak, maple, and birch.
  4. Herbs and Groundcovers: Include native herbs and groundcovers in your landscape to add diversity and fill in gaps between larger plants. Species like wild strawberry, creeping thyme, and woodland phlox provide ground cover and attract pollinators.
  5. Native Vines: Climbing vines can provide additional habitat and food sources while adding vertical interest to your garden. Consider planting native vines like Virginia creeper, trumpet vine, or American wisteria.

When selecting plants for biodiversity, prioritize species that are native to your region and well-suited to the local climate and soil conditions. Native plants have co-evolved with local wildlife and are generally better at supporting native pollinators and other beneficial insects. Additionally, avoiding the use of pesticides and herbicides will help maintain a healthy ecosystem in your garden.

Thank You for your advice!

You’re welcome! If you have any more questions or need further advice, feel free to ask. Happy gardening!


Final thoughts… So there is a first for everything! Now I have blogged with the help of AI. I am not shure what to think! What will this mean for the future? But gaving good referenses will be superimportant! Unless AI will provide that to! And also thinking of the questions from different perspectives.

What do you think?

Så det är väl bara fortsätta att låta bli att klippa delar av gräsmattan och skaffa lite nya blomfröer inför sommaren ❤️


Hittade en man som klipper gräset i en Jane Austen film 👌 Har aldrig lagt märke till det tidigare 🙂

Persuasion from 1995.