I was mowing the lawn last weekend, and as I was pushing the mower back and forth, up and down, across my steeply sloped yard, I thought, “I can’t keep doing this. It’s a waste of my time, it’s a waste of my energy and the energy it takes to fuel the mower.” But I continued, and as I was sweating away, I decided I was going to eliminate as much of that flat green turf as I possibly can and replace it with something more akin to a meadow, a greensward that I have to mow only once a year or so. This isn’t a new thought, but it is one that is gaining popularity with time-pressed folks from coast to coast, thanks in no small part to Evelyn Hadden, the brains behind the informational website LessLawn and a founding member of something called the Lawn Reform Coalition. In her new book, Beautiful No-Mow Yards, Evelyn offers cover-to-cover inspiration and many specific suggestions for replacing any flat or sloping expanse of yawn—I mean, “lawn”—with living color, texture, movement, and life.
Simply by not mowing I would have something that approaches the look of a meadow, but I want it to be more interesting (and less messy) than just some overgrown fescues. So . . . this fall I’m going to start plugging it with bulbs—snowdrops and daffodils and fritillaries; and in the late winter, before they emerge, I will mow the grass short and overseed with English daisies and other perennials tough enough to compete with the turf grasses. In a season or two, I should have a blanket of green, studded with color, which doesn’t require gallons of sweat and gasoline to look good all year long.
You Can Grow That! is a national campaign launched by C.L. Fornari to remind people that “plants and gardening enhance all aspects of our lives. It’s not just about pretty flowers and nice landscapes.” Each month, participating bloggers post about what gardeners can do to improve their quality of life. Fornari lists this month’s posts on her blog, Whole Life Gardening.