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Less Lawn, More Green

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Oh, the satisfaction of having the perfectly manicured, weed-treated, uniform looking lawn!  That’s not our lawn.  If you live in a restricted subdivision, chances are that’s your only choice, even if you’d like to stray from convention.

Funny how, despite his complaining about the time it takes, my husband enjoys his lawn mowing machines and their short-lived results.  The truth is that our imperfect lawn is very wildlife friendly, attracting numerous bees and butterflies, because clover and wildflowers are thriving in it.  We’re continually adding little spots of flower beds or leaving native woodland plants intact.  If you’re a lawn conformist, you can gasp and stop stop reading here.
Wild Trillium in our Yard
We have the combined challenges of a larger-than-average sized yard, trying to use organic methods, and being the typical busy family.  It makes for a cosmetically imperfect lawn, even though I feel better about my children playing in it than if it got sprayed each week with conventional chemicals.
Wild Strawberry Fruit
Wild Strawberry Flower

I admit being unable to keep up with the dandelions this year.  The girls and I also love the wild strawberry plants that provide flowers and fruit for the local wildlife.  The strawberries keep trying to grow, despite what the mower does to stunt them.

One compromise we’ve found is the idea of a mountain-like path up the hill in our backyard.  My husband has just barely started it, but he intends to cover the path with mulch.  We’ve been discussing various plants that can act as erosion barriers in new flower beds around the path, while reducing the need for so much mowing.  I’d like to see some of our native ferns there (if they can get enough shade), maybe some sort of phlox, and perhaps a few rescued wild strawberry plants.

Beginning of New Path/Flower Beds


One Response to Less Lawn, More Green

  1. Mrs. J April 24, 2011 at 12:49 am #

    I love unconventional yards. Perfect grass is so boring. 🙂

    We don’t do anything to the grass in our yard (if you can call it grass). It’s a combination of dandelion, wild strawberry, and other unidentified plants. We mow it occasionally with a reel mower to keep the ticks back.

    I can’t imagine living in a neighborhood with a home owners association that has rules about grass quality. It’s so silly, and horrible for the environment. Think about all those chemicals and all that water!

    Thanks for sharing about your natural yard. 🙂 I’m hoping more people will go back to keeping a more natural yard in the future.

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