Get Off My Lawn

Sidedoor Season 9
Social Media Share Tools
Illustration of a man caring for a green lawn in a variety of ways.

Nowhere in the world are lawns as revered as they are in the United States. The picture-perfect patch of grass is so deeply rooted in the American psyche it feels more like a default setting than a choice. Americans spend countless hours every year seeding, watering, mowing, and fertilizing patches of grass that don't make much sense, economically or ecologically. But why? In this episode, we dig into the history of our lawnly love to learn where the concept came from...and how we grew so obsessed.



  • Cindy Brown, manager of collections, education, and access at Smithsonian Gardens
  • Joyce Connolly, museum specialist at the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Gardens
  • Abeer Saha, curator of agriculture and engineering at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History
  • Sylvia Schmeichel, lead horticulturist at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History
  • Jeff Schneider, deputy director of Smithsonian Gardens

Smithsonian Links:

Sign up to unlock the full Sidedoor experience!
Get bonus content, news, and updates in your inbox.

Please enter a valid email address.
Thanks for signing up!
Email powered by Blackbaud

From the Collections