A plea for MEADOW LAWNS
I am NOT advocating doing away with lawn mowing, or neatness - I really appreciate a well-maintained, edged lawn, and the work that goes into it. I'm just asking if there can be an acceptable alternative - where we can hold our heads high - for those of us who don't want to spend our weekends (or pay someone else) to mow, water, and fertilize a wall-to-wall carpet of turf like a a golf course putting green.
I'm thinking more along the lines of how the highway department mows right along the pavement but lets wildflowers flourish for a season or two farther away. It should also be acceptable to have a few spots of wildflowers, spring bulbs, or other low-growing plants be left in part of the landscape. Like a meadow. Or a golf course "fairway"...
Guidelines could be established, and lists of plants that grow low and tolerate occasional mowing, to make this a normal practice. In fact, wouldn't it be educational for garden clubs and neighborhood assocations came up with a "Meadow Lawn" award to complement their "Lawn of the Month" - to encourage and celebrate those who do this well?
Celebrated Philadelphia Flower Show designer Michael Petrie's creative
solution for a meadow in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, that could not be planted
due to a large population of deer, was to carve out a visually sensuous serpentine
path through the taller grass and wildflowers.
Here are a few shots of meadow lawns I have taken, plus some concepts of using sculptures or other "hard" features to make it look purposeful...
more photos to come soon