The 'World's Ugliest Lawn' winner says the animals that visit every day 'think it's beautiful'

Kathleen Murray smiles on her lawn, which won her a contest because it's so dry and ugly.
Kathleen Murray smiles on her lawn, which won her a contest due to its ugliness and dryness.Courtesy of Gotland.
  • An Australian woman won a Swedish competition for the "World's Ugliest Lawn."

  • The competition was launched to promote global water conservation.

  • Kathleen Murray said she relies on "nature's lawn mowers," like wallabies, kangaroos, and echidnas.

Not everyone would consider it a compliment, but an Australian woman is thrilled after an international panel gave her the "World's Ugliest Lawn" award.

Officials from the Swedish island of Gotland launched the competition to "save water by changing the norm of green lawns," according to a press release from the island. Judges included Gotland officials and individuals from Ireland, New Zealand, Australia, and the US.

"That's the genius of this competition. It uses humor to shine a light on such a serious subject," the press release said. "It awards those willing to proudly proclaim that theirs is the lawn which deserves disgusted glances from neighbors – and a round of applause from around the globe."

As a prize, the Swedish competition awarded Kathleen Murray of Tasmania with a "Proud owner of The World's Ugliest Lawn" t-shirt. The press release noted that all contestants had "a lot of ugliness to be proud of" in their dry yards.

"Kathleen Murray's lawn boasts deep, dry divots created by three wild bandicoots (small marsupials endemic to Australia) and not one dust-covered decimeter is wasted on watering. For that, the planet, and its dwindling stockpiles of life-giving liquid, thanks you, Kathleen," the press release said.

Murray, a 53-year-old mother of four, told The Washington Post she meant to start landscaping her yard, but eventually, she just gave up, allowing local burrowers and grazers — such as wallabies, kangaroos, echidnas, and bandicoots — to be "nature's lawn mowers."

"They don't think my backyard is ugly," Murray told the Post. "They think it's beautiful."

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