Tuesday, July 1, 2008

no mow lawn!

Do you live in the suburbs...the country? If you do, chances are, you spend some time each week getting out the old lawn mower to keep your yard trim and tidy. With the price of fuel these days and the depletion of the ozone layer, it's hard not to wince as the motor revs up. What if I told you that you could sell your mower on Craigslist and grow flowers instead, like the above photo (from Applewood Seed Company) ? Interesting...hmm. My mother is growing a meadow all around her barn/house.
She knew that she didn't want the manicured lawn look...it just didn't fit the style of that old structure. She spent so much time researching green building alternatives for the interior, it didn't make sense to ignore the environmental impact of burning fossil fuels all over her yard. She also doesn't live here full-time, so maintenance was an issue. Research lead her to the installation of a meadow. It's absolutely breathtaking and the flowers are only beginning to pop open. Everyday there are new surprises. The butterflies are in heaven and are fluttering about by the dozens! Bouquets will be bountiful.
We might all need to plant a meadow so...

Here's a little tutorial so that you can try it too:
1. Fall: till soil.
2. Fall: plant a cover crop that will enrich your soil and deter weeds in the Spring. In late August of last year, my mother and son broadcast (by hand) a combination of annual rye and clover seeds.
3. Spring: till again.
4. Spring: plant wildflower seeds appropriate for your climate. My mother used the Northeast blend from Applewood Seed Company.
5. Create a grid around the property intended for planting. Divide up your seeds evenly so that each square in the grid will have the same amount of seeds. This ensures an even look as the flowers grow in.
6. Sit back and hope for lots of rain in the first month.
7. Enjoy your meadow with all of your new friends....the bees,butterflies and birds!

You may want to consider planning for paths through the wildflowers...maybe leading to a little island of unplanted ground. What a perfect place for a magical, hidden picnic This is a picture of the meadow today...I will be chronicling its blossoming throughout the summer. I can't wait for the Black-Eyed Susans!

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  1. I can't wait to see that meadow progress. What a great idea - fits perfect with the barn. The bees are going to love it.

  2. Oh, flowers are much better than mowing and even using cows ;)

  3. Gorgeous! I have a wild flower garden in my back yard....where my failed vegetable garden used to reside. Your Mother's is gorgeous! I will definitely use your tutorial, as your patch is definitely more healthy looking than mine.

  4. I love it! And I am so impresses by your mother's barn. I can't get enough; every time I see your blog listed on Bloglines I get all excited about seeing some more of the barn.
    A meadow! How glorious!

  5. that's so pretty. One of my favorite houses in the middle of town, a million-dollar property- has a meadow front yard surrounded by a white fence. It looks so charming and fresh.

  6. I love the meadow and your idea of creating a little path with an oasis in the middle for lying down on your back and enjoying the flowers, the clouds, and the sun from this perspective.

  7. Just looks beautiful. I love it

  8. I want to live with your mom :O)

  9. oh what a delightful lawn to have! It doesn't get any prettier!!!
    ~Emily in Norway

  10. I'm so pleased you all enjoyed it so much. It's pretty amazing to watch it transform everyday. My mother said butterflies keep fluttering by every window!

  11. Jeez, as if I didn't love your mom enough already! That woman rocks! Well, and so does her daughter!
    And p.s. Did you sign up for the photo swap? - this is your official personal bit of nagging!!

  12. What a lovely idea! Thank you for sharing. I'm so enjoying the photos of your mom's barn!

  13. Gorgeous. I started something like this but your system is better than mine. I hate grass and most all my peeps are allergic to it anyway. Thanks for the pointers! I would just like to add that we are establishing seedlings in mini-greenhouses to eventually plant as fully established perennial wildflowers.

  14. Oh my I love this idea even for a piece of one's yard, suburb, country, or city.
    Once Upon A Parent