The world’s ugliest lawn

Tasmanian garden wins prize for world’s ugliest lawn highlighting how people can save water, help animals and free themselves from lawn-mowing

Kathleen Murray Tasmania Ugliest Lawn competition winner
credit: Gotland Municipality

With the best headline we’ve seen for a while, Patrick Barkham’s intriguing article in the Guardian is about Kathleen Murray in Tasmania, who won the World’s Ugliest Lawn competition. The competition set up by the municipality of Gotland in Sweden, aims to highlight the importance of saving water and changing the standards for green lawns.

According to the organisers, huge amounts of water are used solely for lawn aesthetics which as the world gets warmer, is adding to the problem of water scarcity. ‘Gotland’s Ugliest Lawn’ competition celebrates (ex) lawn-owners who opted to preserve water during the drought instead of watering their lawns. The organisers have said that the “Ugly Lawn” initiative has attained a reach of more than 1 billion people.

The competition is judged by an international panel, including: Diarmuid Gavin, Garden Designer; Leslie Pyle, Author & Advertising copywriter; Nex Thammavongsan, architect; Fennel Fryxell, Senior Director; Stephen Hollmark, Regional Executive Officer of Gotland, Sweden, and Mimi Gibson, Director of Fire that Region Gotland.

Murray lives in Sandford in Tasmania and manage to beat competition from fellow ‘ugly lawns’ in Germany, France, Canada, Croatia, Sweden, the US and the UK.

According to Barkham, Diarmuid Gavin said that “… it was the weirdest competition he had been asked to judge but he hoped it would encourage people to ditch old attachments to green lawns and create climate-appropriate gardens”.