Friday, January 8, 2010

The Meadow

Browsing through Borders not too long ago, I came across a book by John Greenlee called The American Meadow Garden: Creating a Natural Alternative to the Traditional Lawn . I can’t tell you how excited I am about what I’ve read and seen in this book. Finally a detailed source for replacing a lawn with a natural meadow! I called the nursery that I use, Sierra View Nursery, and it turns out that they carry many of the meadow plants named in the book as well as plugs of Buffalo grass - a grass that only needs 3 inches of water per month! Creating a meadow is really a renewable canvas for unlimited possibilities. You can leave it as just a low water type grass that can be mown or not, or you can weave in wildflowers and other perennial flowers. You can create a meadow that has only hues of blues or whites or both - or a mix of the warm colors - yellow, orange and red! You can use Carex grasses, which are clumpers, mixed with perennials or bulbs...have you ever seen natural meadows in the spring yellow with Daffodils? Imagine that in your own yard! Peaceful Valley Farms, has many different wildflower mixes. You can buy them by the pound. One pound would cover 1,000 square feet.

So, naturally, my next project is to get rid of the last of my grass, which is in my back yard. Here is a picture of what it looks like now (dead of winter). As we get closer to the Spring and the warmer weather, I will have the sod removed. I do not have any Bermuda grass in the lawn (I’m sooo grateful), but I do have other weedy things, and I’ll be sure to kill them. Round up is the most useful weed killer, Round up is good but will not kill nutgrass. Next will be the planning of my small meadow. You can follow along each month, as I’ll post my plant selections and pictures...I’m even thinking of doing another “how-to” DVD that will show the entire process. I think creating meadows is a wonderful way to have grassy areas without requiring a lot of water or mowing. Also, it’s great for dogs and creates a healthy habitat for birds, butterflies and insects. So stay tuned!

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