Sunday, February 6, 2011


Lawns may seem like an unusual choice of topic for a flora and nature blog, especially in mid-winter when your lawn is probably blanketed with 6-8" of snow.

Even the most nature attuned home owner can benefit from a bit of lawn. Think of a lawn as the "frame" for your perfect picture. If the woods and mini-prairie/ sedge meadow ran right up to my front door, the panoramic views afforded by a bit of lawn would be lost. And besides, a good lawn makes your neighbors think you are not such a crack-pot after all.
I have been thinking a lot about lawns this week, as Monday night I will be teaching the local Master Gardeners interns about Lawns, and of course my favorite- lawn alternatives.
Having been the Head Groundskeeper for Lakeside, and a bit "lawn obsessed" in a former life, I can relate to the needs of a "green-grass" junkie. Somewhere in the middle lies a compromise; one can have an attractive lawn without spraying a ton of chemicals or spreading toxic grains on the grass where your children, grandchildren or pets play.
Relax and smell the clover, or henbit. These "weeds" are just as green and stay green better during droughts. So if you will work with nature, you can reduce your lawn's chemical dependence, and save yourself a ton of time and money. Time that can put to better use watching birds, chasing butterflies, or walking barefoot in that grass.

Lawns at my property are green and beautiful transitions to native (and some remaining non-native) horticultural pursuits. I admit to harboring hosta. ...Catmint runs rampant at my place. Pokeweed and blackberry brambles are respected for their attractiveness to birds, but kept somewhat in check for their aggressiveness. And thanks to the lawn, for the easy access it affords to all of the best views of nature that my property offers.

SO think a bit about your lawn, and how you can reduce the chemical load and maintenance, while still enjoying a bit of barefoot grass and eye-candy green.

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