Think of this grass as something like moss, implying that it is an abandoned and destroyed place.
Yeah, I could think about something like that, but... let's discuss about this: Isn't the moss a bit too... lush for an extremely hot ambiance, like a hell world? Also, flowers in hell? It's hard to believe, but hey, it's your imagination. We do not have to be so rigid, don't we?
Pretty good choice of tileset there. I also like that you're going for designing small segments like that that require a little bit of exploration which are a nice touch but I'd advise to not make those very often in the level, as the screenshot shows to already have two of those at the start of the level already. Also not really a fan of the green-ish tone to the yellow palettes when everything else doesn't have it. Might want to look into fixing that.
I get the focus on exploration, but some areas seem slightly unnecessary and only seem there to apply tedium because they don't add much to the gameplay or aesthetics, and people will ultimately feel obligated to explore them out of OCD.
Most notably here:
They are large areas of empty terrain with some elevation changes, where the down path is the obvious choice. I'm sure you're planning to add sprites, but even then it seems extra.
It's good to be inspired by another existing level, but... I'd take caution in order to not lose originality. Also, this level starting kinda reminds me of the original Forest Secret Area from SMW. Is this intentional?