SUMMARY: Historically, gardeners obsessed over their lawns, using a variety of methods including treatments, fertilizers, and pesticides to keep “life” out of their landscapes. In the past 20 years, “we have seen a positive shift in the way we look at gardens, wildlife, chemical treatments, and our moral obligation to conserve the many fragile ecosystems around us”‘; however, we have also begun to ignore the functionality of having a lawn, along with its own bed of pros. Is there a way to meet in the middle, so we can balance our wants and needs?
EXCERPT: Mine is not a lawn by the standards of the HOA protected subdivision that dominates the landscape less than three miles away. It is not the lawn of golf-courses and nervous groundskeepers further east towards the city. It does not cry out its nitrogen dependence in shades of electric green, nor does it bankrupt the resident gardener with various expensive treatment programs meted out on a meticulous schedule and marked with little yellow flags.
Each week, cropped at a machine finished four inches, my lawn in Northern Virginia provides recreational space, control over rampant woodland invasives, and the necessary void spaces that connect cultivated and uncultivated parts of the property and give our eyes needed rest…
Image: The American Gardner magazine