For the longest time that I can remember, I complained about the upkeep involved with keeping up with the Joneses in my neighborhood when it came to grass. The lush green lawns, regimentally being groomed, fertilized, and watered, is what I see on a daily basis, whenever I am buried in my evergreens or flowering shrubs that require little to no upkeep. The best kept lawns in our neighborhood belong to those who swear by their luxurious green sheen and the meticulous maintenance that most of their garden-work revolves around.
When I first moved into the neighborhood, I was ecstatic to find my lawn covered in a carpet of dandelions! I’ve never seen a prettier lawn than the brilliant yellow spread of edible flowers and leaves with no grass to be seen. After a while, the raised-eye-brows, helpful-tips on weed control, and concerns aired on my dandelions invading other lawns, got under my skin. I hired a lawncare provider to get rid of my blissful spread of pollinator and environmentally-friendly dandelions.
Since I have a corner lot, my big lawn wasn’t just a pain to maintain, it was pretty expensive to say the least. I grudged my time and energy spent on mowing, fertilizing, weeding, and watering involved with keeping up a healthy lawn. Knowing the fact that lawns weren't friendly to the environment either, made me dislike my chores more.
Each time I hear a lawnmower’s roaring, I think of burning gasoline and spreading of harmful fumes. When I see a lawn being overly-tended, I think of polluting effects of pesticide and fertilizer runoffs in waterways. When I see turf grass being watered frequently, I think of the environmental costs involved with unnecessary usage of a precious resource.
I wanted to grow pollinator friendly, native plants with little to no upkeep involved in boulevards surrounding my plot. I dreamed of a wildflower meadow less susceptibility to weed growth, requiring no fertilizing and little to no water. I let the grass be overtaken by weed over the years and be in their most deplorable state, so that when I finally replace it with flowers, hopefully the neighbors would be relieved!
This year, I did it at last! I summoned up the courage to dig out all the grass in the front boulevards, while inquisitive eyes watched me. I planted pollinator friendly, easily-naturalized, flowering natives such as coneflowers, black-eyed Susans, Gaillardias, poppies, daisies, asters, and catmint. I planted blue grass in between the flowers and annuals such as angle wings and purple fountain grass for contrasting fall color.
Adding spring and summer bulbs that would flower throughout the gardening season was another vision I had for my boulevards. I planted daffodils, tulips, alliums, Dutch iris, rock-garden iris, daylilies, and crocosmia in between the perennials and annuals. I covered the entire area with a layer of well-seasoned woodchip mulch that added to its aesthetic effects. Now, I eagerly visualize a stretch of brilliant color that would put a smile on anyone walking by from spring until frost next year…