Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Cute and the Not Very

This is what happens whenever Wilson gets a minute outside. Imagine piggy noises and much rolling and stretching and finally lolling in the sunshine as long as we'll allow. He has a great life, this dog, and he seems to know it. My daughter texted me these photos when I was away, to remind me how cute he is.

Too bad our lawn is the background. I don't even want to address that brown patchy mess Wilson is lying on, except to say that it's a good example for why you might want to get rid of your grass (or at least some of it) and plant something else. The extra wet spring we've had this year has made it especially bad, but we have at least a little bit of brown patch every year.

Lawn grasses make so many demands—mowing, supplemental water, fertilizer, herbicides to control weeds, and fungicides to get the green back into brown patch. And they support far fewer pollinators than flowering shrubs and perennials (and tall ornamental grasses) do. We removed about half of our lawn several years ago to increase the size of our woodland garden in the front yard and a cottage/perennial garden in the back. It has been so much more rewarding than the grass that was there before! Dozens of birds and wildlife of all kinds enjoy it too.

If you're interested in looking into the idea of reducing your lawn and lawn maintenance, pick up a copy of this new book: Lawn Gone! by Pam Penick. It addresses the why and how, and tells you what you might like to plant instead. If you've already removed some lawn to grow other things, please do tell!


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