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Bowling green

From Academic Kids

For various places in the United States with this name, see Bowling Green (disambiguation)

In English garden history, a bowling green is a finely-laid, close-mown and rolled stretch of flat lawn for playing the game of Bowls, a fashion in the early 16th century. An Italian version of the game is bocce.

Before 1830, when Edwin Beard Budding invented the lawnmower, lawns were often kept cropped by grazing sheep on them.

When the French adopted "boulengrin" in the 17th century, it was understood to mean a sunk geometrically shaped piece of perfect grass, framed in gravel walks, which often formed the center of a regularly planted wood called a bosquet, somewhat like a highly formalized glade; it might have a central pool or fountain.

The diarist Samuel Pepys relates a conversation he had with the architect Hugh May:

"Then walked to Whitehall, where saw nobody almost, but walked up and down with Hugh May, who is a very ingenious man. Among other things, discoursing of the present fashion of gardens to make them plain, that we have the best walks of gravell in the world, France having none, nor Italy; and our green of our bowling allies is better than any they have."
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