Actress, film producer, entrepreneur, talk show host and now co-chief creative officer of instead – a new natural lawn care program – Drew Barrymore never ceases to inspire us with her many creative talents. With a long-time devotion to nature and sustainable living, we caught up with Drew to talk about how having a luscious lawn and getting closer to nature was so important to her and her family.
- Stunning outdoor living spaces are the way forward for all of us.
'Your lawn is your new living room'
So you said you’re a California girl at heart and you’ve lived much of your life in your yard. Did you find that you spent more time in your yard since the start of the pandemic?
‘Yes in fact, my new quote, that I just came up with today, so it kinda feels like we designed the campaign as like your lawn is your new living room.
And, I also think that I grew up in California but, I moved to Manhattan and then I didn’t have a lawn. I’ve since been lucky enough to get another one where I started a garden, but I just think they are not to be taken for granted and if you’re lucky enough to have any lawn whatsoever you have to make it a part of your living space.
The pandemic definitely changed the way I look at everything, but also I just wish I had been a more environmentally conscientious person twenty years ago when the alarm bells started going off. And, I love that this generation is going to hold us accountable because I wish someone had held us accountable twenty years ago, and I feel really empowered by all the options that are coming our way.
I am obsessed with this company – instead lawn (opens in new tab) – I love their business model, I love the delivery. There’s spring, summer and fall, there’s levity and humor to the campaign, there’s just goodness here and so I’m so onboard. I want to shout about them from the rooftops.'
'I created a vegetable garden and we grew our own vegetables'
Apart from keeping your lawn looking amazing, where there any major or even tiny upgrades that you made to your outdoor space in the last year, that made a really great difference?
'Yeah, we raised six baby chickens. And now we eat their eggs, we’re so in love with them and I created a vegetable garden and we grew our own vegetables, and lettuces and herbs and tomatoes and it was incredible.
I grew eggplant and I didn’t think any of this was possible before and, I got really involved with creating this outdoor space and when other things go out of your life, new things come in. For me it was gardening, and I planted my own lawn and seeded it so, I’m all in now. I guess I didn’t have the confidence before, or maybe even the time.
- See how to seed a lawn properly.
'I think nature is so emblematic'
Would you say you have a green thumb now?
'Sort of, yeah. I just didn’t have the time and the space before. And like I said when everything went away I thought about how wonderful it would be to just get into nature and how calming it is for the senses. We were all so scared and the nature just brought me back down to a saner, more peaceful place and I think nature is so emblematic too. It has to go away, it has to hibernate, it has to become sort of odd looking and then it blooms again and rebirths, and it felt so in keeping with what we were all experiencing on this globe.'
- See our guide to gardening for beginners to follow in Drew's footsteps.
'I pick chickens up all the time!'
It sounds like your kids are pretty into it as well, are they quite involved in everything that you’re doing? I mean, they must love the chickens?
'Yes we are obsessed with our chickens, we love our chickens, I love our chickens! And I’m now obsessed with eating their eggs, and they are actually really fun. They were a bit easier than I ever imagined, but I’m way too attached to them.'
You wouldn't think you could pick a chicken up and just stroke it, but you can, it’s mad.
'Yes, I pick chickens up all the time!'
'I think I’ve always been connected to nature from growing up in California'
You mentioned that you wished you’d felt more eco-conscious twenty years ago, was there anything when you were growing up in West Hollywood that inspired you to live more sustainably or to have that connection with nature?
'It really didn’t, there just wasn’t the right messaging. The messaging was also very doomsday, I just turned my head away from it. I just eventually realized how dire and important it all was.
[Now] all these companies saying we’re gonna be all electric we’re gonna be this that, it’s like God where was this twenty years ago. But, at least it’s here now. I think you have to be inspired, it’s the route in, so right now I am just looking to work with companies that are going to be game changers. And, I also think that the way we live, and the food we eat, how we grow and plant has been very chemical and we have to reverse ourselves out of that.
But it’s here now, I’m just trying to take a new approach with new eyes towards everything I’m doing as a parent, as a person, as a business person, as a person who works for companies ... I am looking at everything with new eyes.'
'We got a little tiny trampoline during the pandemic and they are on it all the time'
What are the most important things you think a backyard should have, especially if you have children?
'As many things for them to be physical like jungle gyms, monkey bars – they are the hardest things in the world, I can not do them as an adult – swings, bikes, horseshoes, or you know hopscotch.
We got a little tiny trampoline during the pandemic and they are on it all the time. Anything that keeps your kids active and wanting to go to sleep at night is like a miracle.'
- These are the best trampolines for your yard.
'I wish I had an outdoor kitchen, that would be amazing'
It’s clear that you prioritize sustainability in your backyard, but in terms of the decor of any outdoor living spaces you have or outdoor kitchens were there any holidays or particular film sets where the outdoor space inspired you to create a certain feel in your garden/yard?
'By the way, I wish I had an outdoor kitchen, that would be amazing.'
- Find all our latest and greatest back yard ideas here.
It’s the dream isn’t it.
‘Oh my God yes. I think this summer I’m gonna get a Slip-N-Slide which is this ridiculous sheet of yellow plastic that you lay down and put your garden hose in, and then your kids take a running start and then hurl themselves on it, that’s my summer plans, is to get a Slip-N-Slide.'
'My big goal this summer is to have a beautiful lawn and have the kids doing Slip-N-Slides'
I think that’s a sensible summer plan.
'Yeah that’s my big goal this summer is to have a beautiful lawn and have the kids be doing Slip-N-Slides. I might also have to rock one of those old school sprinklers, the kind that fan back and forth and the kids can like run through.'
Sure, and they catch you out when you least expect it.
'Yeah, that’s what I want this summer to be like: Sprinklers, and Slip-N-Slides (opens in new tab), and just out on that lawn. And, not just because we’re talking about a lawn care company, that is really my goal. Especially, now living in the East Coast I’m living through seasons so I really want to maximize summer – spring and summer.'
We are totally on board with that 🌞
- See all our garden ideas for kids.