Saturday, August 4, 2012

America’s (unhealthy) perfect lawn obsession

Apparently, if you can’t get the real thing…just spray paint and fake it. That’s what some people are doing in areas where drought has taken its toll on lawns. ***Warning: I’m about to get up on my soapbox here and get preachy.***

As if America doesn’t dump enough chemicals into the ground to get that perfect, lush, thick lawn. I’ll never understand this obsession we have with slaving over the lawn….constantly seeding, re-seeding, aerating, watering, dethatching,  fertilizing, liming, and so on. And then doing it all over again if it didn’t work the first time. The cost of all this long term is polluted run-off that goes into our streams and rivers, and soil that gradually loses it’s nutrients and becomes more and more dependent on fertilizer and other chemicals to keep it green and weed-free.

There is a better way. I’ve seen pictures of yards where the homeowners have carved out much of the lawn and replaced the grass with long, sweeping beds of perennials and shrubs. Or you can do what these folks did and turn your front yard into a “grocery garden”…never buy produce from the store again:

Of course, these homeowners are having to deal with the HOA yard nazis. But if you’re in an older neighborhood or you can get permission to replace even just part of your lawn (no need to get this elaborate!), it’s a great way to be sustainable and get something in return for all your hard work (besides just boring old green grass).

Thursday, August 2, 2012


I neglected to mention that I have a second garden blog devoted exclusively to highlighting excellent plants (shrubs, perennials, trees, etc.) for the Mid-Atlantic region. Included in each post is a photo, and growing info such as hardiness zone, light and soil requirements, as well as special characteristics of the plant. Follow along here:

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