Life ‘Lawn porn’ a hit as Australians look to earn their stripes
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‘Lawn porn’ a hit as Australians look to earn their stripes

Alex Quinn has invested thousands of dollars in machinery to maintain his lawn. Photo: ABC Gold Coast/Caitlyn Sheehan
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Gold Coast carpenter Alex Quinn used to wake up on a Saturday morning and stare forlornly at an overgrown lawn, but, like many others, he has discovered that mowing should not feel like a chore.

He said last year’s COVID-19 lockdown gave him time to invest in his home and he discovered there was pride in having manicured, green grass.

“I get joy out of mowing the lawn and looking back at it and going, ‘Wow, look how tidy that looks,'” he said.

“I fertilise every four months, mow three to four times a week, water it twice a week — just maintaining the crap out of it.”

The 26-year-old from Nerang has found his love of lawns through online communities that offer advice for beginners and experienced lawn enthusiasts.

“Every time I look at my lawn, I spot imperfections. Every time I mow it I want it to get better and better,” Mr Quinn said.

“There are expectations in my head — from looking at other people’s lawns on Facebook — and I go, ‘How do I get it to that stage?'”

Lawn enthusiasts strive for perfect stripes when they mow their grass. Photo: Supplied/Lenny Lawler

Social media brings lawn order

The rise in lawn pride can be seen on social media with enthusiasts posting photographs of their latest cut lawn, or “lawn porn” if you would rather.

Lenny Lawler lives at Mount Gravatt in Brisbane and founded a Facebook group in 2015 which now has almost 63,000 members.

He said the Australian Lawn Fanatics has grown like a fertilised lawn after spring rains.

“It’s the patch of green goodness that separates the lawn fanatic from the weed grower next door,” he said.

“COVID hasn’t been bad for membership because a lot of people have been stuck at home.

“We try to, as a group, shy away from having a ‘who’s got the best lawn’ competition because it’s not about a competition, it’s about encouraging others.”

Mr Lawler quit his job working at the Brisbane wharves and now operates his own business, Lawn Rescue Squad, which helps people revive and care for their grass.

Alex Quinn bought a restored cylinder mower to give his grass a more even cut. Photo: Supplied/Alex Quinn

He discovered his love of lawns while at his local sporting club.

“I was helping mowing the fields and marking the lines at a football club in Brisbane and I got bitten by the grass bug,” Mr Lawler said.

“Then I started trying to make my own lawn as nice as possible.

“To me it’s the feeling of pride when you drive down your street you can usually see a nice green lawn before you get to the house.”

He said he enjoyed helping novices begin their lawn journey and advised beginners to use chemicals that were safe for them and their grass.

Get off the grass

Mr Lawler said some enthusiasts did not let people walk on their freshly mown lawns, but his approach was different.

“My partner and I even just spend time sitting on the lawn, or laying on the lawn,” he said.

“We call it ‘grounding’. You’re just connecting with the plant and with the Earth.

“It’s a little bit spiritual or mystic, but we feel calm and relaxed after we’ve been hanging around on the grass.”

Lawn enthusiasts are buying expensive roller mowers to give their grass a manicured look. Photo: Supplied/Lenny Lawler

Dallas “Rusty” Garton from Lawn Pride at Yatala, on the northern Gold Coast, said they were seeing more people inquiring about specialist garden products.

He said there was a steady groundswell in interest as people took more pride in their lawns.

“It was one of those cattle moments — one person does something, and a lot of people follow,” he said.

“People are taking pride in their own home and their property, and then presenting it to the street.

“Others cotton-on, they start doing their research, and they have an abundance of information from peers.”

Blades of glory

Mr Quinn said he may be a novice when it came to lawn care, but he has invested in 10 different types of lawn accessories including edge trimmers and blade and cylinder mowers.

“I see years of work ahead. I just want it to get better and better and I don’t think I’ll ever be happy enough with how it is,” he said.

“As soon as I drive up the street I look at every lawn on the way, and then I look at mine as I pull in the driveway.

“I stop and look at it for about five seconds and then go in the garage.

“It feels great.”

-ABC