Is stone the way to go in Chicago yards?

Jefferson Park

We who still hold dear memories of walking barefoot in the grass in our youth died a little when we heard the current trend in landscaping is to pave over all that grass and replace that gnarled old oak tree with a fake plastic one. According to an article on MSN Real Estate, homeowners suffering from “garden fatigue” are increasingly “hardscaping” their land:

Here’s what’s on the way out in landscaping: grass, flowers and trees. Frustrated by extreme changes in the weather — floods this year, droughts last year — some homeowners are simply giving up. They’re replacing ferns and palms with lifelike fakes, pulling up the sod and putting down stone, concrete and other types of paving, and drastically shrinking planting beds.

So, let’s forget the fact that we need trees, grass and bushes to, y’know, to breathe (at least until the scientists perfect “lifelike fakes” with the ability to photosynthesize). Let’s also forget that the pride of ownership that comes with tending a lawn or garden seems to be decreasing at the same rate our waist lines are increasing. Let’s even forget that little kids will have to run around barefoot on concrete instead of grass.

While many high-rises and condo buildings are adding green roofs or garden terraces to improve residents’ quality of life, why would a homeowner lucky enough to have a yard want to tear it up? We’ve already seen the asphalt dog park — is the concrete yard going to take over Chicago?

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