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Wed Jul 18, 2012, 08:37 PM

The New Lawn: Shaggy, Chic and Easy on the Mower

Pushing back against perfect lawns, some homeowners are adopting a shaggy-chic look for their properties, planting a long-haired meadow in the backyard, and even in front.

Meadows are naturally pretty and abuzz with blooms and butterflies, but their real appeal is this: Once the meadow is established, mowing is recommended just once a year.
Growing a Meadow at Home

Homeowners and residential landscapers are taking a cue from the wild and woolly designs cropping up in high-profile public spaces.

more, with pictures
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303754904577530851855675044.html?mod=e2tw

18 replies, 3794 views

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Response to Viva_La_Revolution (Original post)

Wed Jul 18, 2012, 08:47 PM

1. You'll need some music to go with that:

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Response to Viva_La_Revolution (Original post)

Wed Jul 18, 2012, 09:16 PM

2. This looks fine for the country home

but in the city, it isn't as effective or as easy to pull off. If I had a home in the country, no one would have to tell me to do this. In town, I push everything as far as I can without zoning problems. How do you do this with a small yard in the city?

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Response to Curmudgeoness (Reply #2)

Wed Jul 18, 2012, 10:53 PM

3. I have 'patches'

in the backyard on a dry slope under a huge pine, about 14' by 15'. It's mostly daisy's in full bloom right now. I let the patch get a little bigger every year. In selected areas of the yard I let the grass grow and seed, a bunch here and there. I'd let the whole thing go to seed if I could.

I'm starting a new patch in the front under a weeping beech, it will be a mix of about 20 wildflowers, right now it looks like weeds with a few bachelor buttons and sweet peas. bordered on one side by the creeping juniper that I HATE (but have to keep for erosion control) and on the other by the street. about the same size as the first. The neighbors haven't complained yet, but it was just bare mulch before, now there's a little color.

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Response to Viva_La_Revolution (Reply #3)

Thu Jul 19, 2012, 07:39 PM

4. I may try that....little bits at a time.

I already do that with berry bushes and alternatives to grass in some areas. I am not the manicured lawn type of person and my back yard does have an overgrown, wild and secluded look that I love. I may push the envelope further and doing it a little at a time is a great idea. If it pushes too far, I just hope that they don't clamp down on the whole thing.

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Response to Curmudgeoness (Reply #2)

Sun Jul 22, 2012, 12:41 AM

5. It works everyplace

trust me I plant Meadows and prairies for a living .... a lot of perennial flowers in
cultivated gardens are just native wildflowers.

p.m. me if you have any questions

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Response to Botany (Reply #5)

Mon Jul 23, 2012, 10:07 AM

7. We're in the monarch migration path. The butterfly bush is a big hit with them.

 

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Response to HopeHoops (Reply #7)

Mon Jul 23, 2012, 10:37 AM

8. Although butterfly bush is pretty it is not native and it can be invasive too

You are much better off planting NATIVE butterfly host and nectar plants.

New England Aster is a great one.

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Response to Botany (Reply #8)

Mon Jul 23, 2012, 02:14 PM

10. I've got all kinds of native butterfly/hummingbird plants. And yes, the bush is invasive.

 

I've got two growing about 20 feet from it. Then again, I've got a tomato plant growing out of the compost (and doing better than most of the others).

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Response to Botany (Reply #8)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 12:09 PM

14. Is milkweed native to Southern California.

The monarch butterflies seem to like it. I saw at least two Monarch caterpillars on mine this year.

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #14)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 01:43 PM

18. try the california native plant society

http://www.cnps.org/cnps/about/

My plant knowledge is more midwestern and eastern.

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Response to Viva_La_Revolution (Original post)

Mon Jul 23, 2012, 10:06 AM

6. We just go with dandylion and clover. More honeybees than every other house combined.

 

It doesn't need to be mowed that often and we cut it high. The bees love it. With all of the vegetables we have, that's a good thing.

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Response to HopeHoops (Reply #6)

Mon Jul 23, 2012, 10:59 AM

9. Dandylions are spring food for bees

one of the first to bloom and very important food source.

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Response to Viva_La_Revolution (Reply #9)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 12:39 PM

16. That they are. We were so thrilled to see so many bees this year.

 

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Response to HopeHoops (Reply #6)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 12:11 PM

15. My yellow wood sorrel attracts the bees for me in Southern California.

It grows under my avocado trees. One year I got sick of the stuff and tried to pull it all out. My avocado crop was poor. That taught me an important but very basic lesson about gardening. Keep plants that bees like. We really need bees. Even now I have all kinds of bees on my rosemary. I just love to watch them.

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #15)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 12:40 PM

17. The bumbles practically swarmed on our lavender (huge plant now).

 

They had huge sacks of pollen - so much so that they seemed to have trouble flying. Then again, there's a reason they're called "bumble" bees.

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Response to Viva_La_Revolution (Original post)

Mon Jul 23, 2012, 04:18 PM

11. The people in my town allowed a certain company to come in

 

and use chemicals on their lawns. You know those antiseptic lawns with zero weeds? They look repulsive to me! Comparing my lawn (I live in a two-flat) with the next-door neighbor's shows me that it is far superior to keep it natural. Clover feeds the bees! That poision destroys an eco system!

(I noticed that this year that company didn't seem to get any work in my area. Maybe too many fried lawns... )

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Response to Viva_La_Revolution (Original post)

Tue Jul 24, 2012, 12:01 AM

12. my backyard is a wild jungle

 

and that's pretty good for being in Siberia, Manitoba.

I have virginia creeper and a few other perenials that are allowed to grow however they like, with a little bit of direction on my part. Nothing too fancy and low maintenance is what I like. And I love it. It's lush and green and cuts down on noise pollution and feels great. Also have a couple Shepherds hooks with a few potted hanging plants here and there for spot colour and some boxes with veggies and tomatoes.

The front is pretty well status quo with cut lawn and sort of jonesy that way but I have plans to change that too next year, bit by bit.

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Response to Viva_La_Revolution (Original post)

Mon Oct 22, 2012, 02:02 AM

13. your gardens sound fascinating

Do you have any photos?

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