Well, I’m home from the IGC Show in Chicago and diving into fine-tuning a magazine article on a familiar topic but with an interesting twist – it’s about LAWN and it’s for the MEN. Homebuilders of all types, Handy Harry the Homeowner and professional builders, too.
My assignment? To write about lawns, particularly how much water they waste but about their other problems, too, then to suggest alternatives to the manly traditions of Toro-riding and mow-and-blowing altogether. The editor suggested I use a tone that’s “provocative and edgy”. Yep, he wants a rant about lawns and I yep, I can do that.
Seems that the magazine, a partner publication at Taunton Press to Fine Gardening, recently covered water-saving devices in the home but they knew they needed to cover water-saving in the landscape, too. How much of the water used by homeowners is for outdoor uses, like watering the lawn? Estimates range from 30 to 60 percent, depending on the climate and the season. So it’s a big deal, especially in an era of worsening droughts, state-against-state water battles, and population increases especially in the arid Southwest.
But back to the magazine. I was interested to find such a total gender breakdown between “homebuilding” and “gardening”, with the Homebuilding Facebook page fans being a completely different group from the gardeners, as evidenced by the utter lack of overlap between my “friends” and their almost 1,000 fans. And on their website I see lots of great information but the topics covered are almost all outdoors. Their only outdoor video is about how to build a deck. Ah, but over on the Fine Gardening website I see, among the design ideas and plant profiles, plenty of manly stuff – hardscaping and outdoor structures, paths. So wouldn’t it be great if they linked to all THAT good stuff right there for the “homebuilders” to see?
Okay, I know nothing about the financial side of their relationship but as a consumer, some cross-over or link-directing could be really helpful. And who KNOWS how many builder-type guys might find themselves enjoying that new gazebo, patio or deck SO MUCH, they end up wanting to plant some, you know, greenery to look at. And pretty soon they’re calling plants by their names and looking at more than just the supplies section of the garden center and – who knows? – maybe even admitting that they like gardening.
They can call it yardwork but once you start buying whole plants, that’s gardening. And welcome to the club, guys.
Photo by Tony the Bald Eagle.