For many people today, gardening is about lawns and almost nothing else. In the United States lawns cover more surface area—fifty thousand square miles—than any single farm crop. In the western United States about 60 percent of all the water that comes out of taps for all purposes is sprinkled on lawns. Worse still are the amounts of herbicides and pesticides—seventy million pounds of them a year—that are soaked into lawns. It is a deeply ironic fact that for most of us keeping a handsome lawn is about the least green thing we do.