Monday, June 14, 2010

When Lawns Go Wild And We Go Free!

Over 10 years have passed since I moved to my older home on a hillside in Brandon Township. The former owners had maintained with great love and care a carpet of closely mowed green from the front porch all the way down to the edge of my road.  To me it looked like a sloped golf course. Ho-hum. Yawn. Some might accuse me of being lazy, but that carpet of green is getting smaller and smaller. Every year I make sure it shrinks. Wildflowers that need next to no care - I burn them every other year-  edge sections and line the split-rail fence.  A hodge-podge of black raspberries are in a central section, a rustic arbor with grapes and flowering climbers are next to the garage and now the rewards are pouring in: tranquilty, butterflies, honey bees, small animals and yesterday a doe with fawn ambled by and sampled a flower or too. Fireflies will soon sparkle at night and wrens nest in wild corners where lawn once ruled. With a steep slope driveway of crushed gravel my downsize plan of wild restoration continues.  Come fall, I'l be roto-tilling out the green along the edges and sow that too with wildflower seeds. Next spring, with no extra care to be given,  I'll have more  colorful splashes of blooms and even less to mow. And in one section I just simply stopped mowing this year to see what happens: Orange and yellow hawkweed  flower.  Maybe I am pushing the limits as to what I can or should do, but earlier this year, shorlty after the last snow melted I walked down my dirt road and tossed a few handfulls of wildflower seed along a barren section where a county grader had cut a deep slash during winter plowing. Today I noticed they are blooming leaving me with a bit of a Johnny Appleseed Gone Wild feeling.  And sometimes I just wonder how it came to be that the great American lawn, the mono-culture carpet of dollar-sucking, time-consuming boring green so many are slaves too, is so worshipped. You don't think the pressure of advertising has anything to do with it?


Anonymous Judy said...

I'm with you ...yes to the wildflowers and the green lawn is quite boring ..wildflowers remain much more picturesque and
I think it's always better to be a little wild!!
we are to often complacent ..

June 15, 2010 at 8:15 PM 
Anonymous Jeff said...

I have adopted this practice on the back of my property and it is amazing the flora and fauna that have taken to my 50'X 15' strip of unmowed land! I love it!

June 16, 2010 at 11:59 PM 

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