Is the love of lawn in our DNA? It may well be. I remember reading about a study using the newest brain-activity scans--subjects looked at colors, and scientists determined what was going on in the brain for each color. Could I find that article again? Of course not. The Google just wouldn't cough it up no matter what keywords I used. So, I'll speculate instead.
The brain (as I remember reading) lit up in certain areas--alertness, excitement--for bright colors like red, orange, yellow. For blue and green, the brain became quiet, calm, serene.
Are you energized?
Study scientists thought perhaps that an expanse of blue is somewhat irrelevant in the search for food--through species after species over hundreds of millions of years of evolution, no animal eats the sky. A blue sky means nice weather--happiness, rather than excitement.
Oooh! Flowers the colors of oranges--I love oranges--so sweet! And plums! Love plums!
Bright colors like red, orange, yellow--fruit! Ripe, delicious fruit! Edible! Yum! Any brain would get excited. (And no wonder I love color.)
Grass--sauce for the goose?
What about green? It means, what? Non-desert. A good place. Shade and shelter (trees). If you are an herbivore, plenty to eat. If you are a fruit eater, it means potential for fruit soon, if not today. It means water is likely nearby. It means you have a better chance of survival. Calm. Good. Relax. No wonder we like lawns--surely our brains are programmed, after hundreds of millions of years of evolution, to feel safe and hopeful amidst a rich expanse of green.
Now there is drought, but an expanse of rich, calming green is still available all around us: hedges, of course. Syzygium, Myrtle, Toyon, Ligustrum, Xylosma. Tough. Low water requirements when fully established. Or a vine-covered wall, which is, in effect, a virtual hedge. Perhaps to our neurons and synapses and DNA, a hedge is a lawn, or close enough.
Velvety green, little water required.
One thing lawn doesn't deserve--have you noticed on the TV news and in articles, it's always "ripping out" lawn. People "ripped out their lawn". People need to "rip out" their lawn. The water district is handing out rebates for "ripping out your lawn". What is the need for retribution, for violence, for green blood from the family Poaceae? Can't writers just say "remove"? There's no need to be cruel. Plants are not the enemy.